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Gabriel Byrne. Photo by: thecraicfest.com

New York’s Craic Festival turns sweet 16 (VIDEOS)

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Gabriel Byrne. Photo by: thecraicfest.com

The closing night gala of the Craic film series on March 8 will see the New York premiere of Through Triumph and Tragedy: 50 Years of the FDNY Pipes and Drums documentary directed by local filmmaker Tim Geraghty, with a special appearance by the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums themselves.

“The film details the 50 years history of the bagpipe band of the New York City Fire Department,” says Mulligan. “What originally started out as an effort for Irish firefighters to celebrate their Irish heritage has become one of the most important institutions in the FDNY.”

After September 11, the band made it their mission to play every funeral and memorial service for the 343 members of the Fire Department that died on the day. Their courage and dedication turned the band into a globally recognized organization, and a dignified symbol of freedom and honor.

Meanwhile, Irish music fans can rejoice.  On March 7 the legendary Rubberbandits will return with new songs and a new album.

“They’re back and bigger than ever,” says Mulligan. “It’s close to being sold out already. They’ll be supported by the Narrowbacks on the night and I’d advise people to book their tickets as soon as they can.”

On Saturday, March 8 it’s all Northern Irish acts for a night they’re calling Belfast Rocks the Craic Festival. Scheduled to play are Duke Special, Rams Pocket Radio and Steafan Hanvey. Expect a raucous Northern night of music and moves.

“You can’t sit around,” says Mulligan. “You have to reinvent the festival every time to make it interesting to promote and attend. That’s our aim and that’s what has kept us fresh.”

The Craic Fest after-party is sponsored by Stella Artois and Tullamore Dew at the Tribeca Cinema, held each night after the film screenings. That means free booze and good conversation with your cultured new friends. The nearby Tribeca Blu Hotel is kindly putting up the filmmakers and celebrities so the after party could be a lively one.

Malachy McCourt and Gabriel Byrne are both scheduled to attend, as is film director Terry George. Director James Maycock will be there for the opening night of his film. For tickets visit www.thecraicfest.com.

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