Inaugural Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival to paint the town green

Attendees at the Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival announcement. Picture: Wade Hughes
Attendees at the Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival announcement. Picture: Wade Hughes

FORGET St Patrick’s Day, the luck of the Irish will come to Fremantle two months earlier than usual with a new festival at the Kidogo Arthouse.

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins was in town last week to help announce the inaugural Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival, a celebration of Irish culture in Australia.

The 10-day event in January will include musical performances, walks, talks, a literature festival, art exhibition, screenings of contemporary Irish films and other family friendly activities.

Kidogo Arthouse’s Joanna Robertson said the festival was inspired by, and would coincide with, the 150th anniversary of the arrival of convict ship Hougoumont in Fremantle.

“The Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival celebrates the cultural influence that the Fenians and other Irish immigrants have brought to Australia,” she said.

“Irish people have had a significant influence in the political, social and cultural history of Australia and in the 2016 census, 2.5 million Australians, or 11 per cent of the population, indicated they had Irish ancestry.

“We are very keen to try and track down as many descendants from around the world as possible of the 62 Fenians that were transported on the Hougoumont in 1868; to hear and gather their stories, tell them about the Festival and give them the opportunity to come to Fremantle to be a part of it.”

The Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival is on January 5 to 14.

Visit www.kidogo.com.au for more information.

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