Press Release: Irish Culture Gang Storms Wales with the Manning Truthfest.

6 January 2014

This weekend 10-11 January 2014 a gang of Irish musicians, performers and activists will travel to west Wales to present not one, not two, but three events in support of whistleblower and US prisoner Chelsea (Bradley) Manning and her mum and family members in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

truthfest poster

Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year jail sentence in the US for releasing what was judged to be classified information. It included film of a murderous US helicopter gunship attack on civilians in Baghdad that killed 12 and seriously injured two children. The perpetrators of that crime walk free.

Chelsea Manning’s grandfather Billy Fox emigrated from Rathmines Dublin to Wales in 1948. So Afri invited Chelsea’s family from Wales to Dublin two months ago. Mum Susan, aunts Sharon and Mary, and uncle Kevin made many friends during that visit, some of whom are among the return visitors to Wales this weekend taking part in The Manning Truthfest in Fishguard and Haverfordwest.

(1) Shamrock Bar, Fishguard, 7.30pm Friday 10th January
Songs, music and bog magic realism

DD04 family with joe

Joe Black, pictured above with members of Chelsea Manning’s family, is a singer/songwriter and guitarist famed for his song Giusseppe Conlon among others.
RoJ Whelan is a singer/songwriter and guitarist; his hit song I Am Bradley Manning is on YouTube.

Brian Fleming is one of Ireland’s foremost percussionists, specialising in Irish bodhran and African drums. He is also a writer/performer of solo shows, and community activist.
Ellen Cranitch is a flautist and multi-instrumentalist, a composer and also a radio presenter.
Robbie Sinnott plays accordion and is a human rights and community activist.

Performance: Fionnuala, Donal O’Kelly’s Edinburgh Fringe First solo show about the Shell Mayo gas project in the west of Ireland.
“Not only gripping, funny and full of a rich sense of Ireland’s great tradition of myth and legend, but also ruthlessly precise in its analysis of the deep malaise of 21st-century Ireland” Scotsman
“**** A deliciously exuberant performance” Financial Times
“Cuts a swathe through Shell/State propaganda, allowing audiences to access the truth of what’s happening in North Mayo” Hot Press
“A masterpiece of modern theatre that assuredly belongs in the tradition of great Irish writing” Three Weeks Edinburgh

Entrance by donation.

(2) Picton Centre, Freemans Way, Haverfordwest. 2-5pm Saturday 11th January
Ideas in Words: How to Support Chelsea Manning

Harry Browne is author of Frontman:- Bono, In The Name of Power, and is a journalism lecturer in Dublin Institute of Technology and a peace and human rights activist.
Nuala Kelly is former director of the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas and a human rights campaigner.
Ciaron O’Reilly is a longtime Catholic Worker peace activist and former prisoner of conscience in the US.

Andy Storey is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations in UCD, and chairman of Afri.
Joe Murray is director of Afri and a longstanding peace and justice campaigner.

Singers and musicians as above.

Entrance by donation.

(3) Labour Club, Dew Street, Haverfordwest. 7.30pm, Saturday 11th January
Irish Music and Performances

Who Am Ireland? A performed poetry piece by Irish writer/performer Sorcha Fox. A contemporary poetic riff on identity – personal and national – in the spirit of challenge. Sorcha Fox is an award-winning actress (Best Actress First Irish Festival New York 2012) and stars in Ken Loach’s next film Jimmy’s Hall.

Have Yis No Homes To Go To? Solo show by Brian Fleming.
Three and a half clowns face down 1,500 refugees in a camp in Rwanda. In French, English, Swahili and Kinyarwandan, the questions on everybody’s lips are:- “What the hell are yous doing here?” and “Why d’you bring a drummer to Africa?” The true story of one eejit drummer on an unlikely expedition with Clowns Without Borders. Sold out at Dublin Fringe 2013
“Fringe favourite… Fleming is back” Irish Times 2013
“You can’t help but be swept away into his world” **** entertainment.ie

Singers and musicians as above.

Entrance £5. Limited tickets. Booking essential. Contact: wiseupforbm@yahoo.com or call 07938 619825 or 07812 577204.

For interviews, contact:
Harry Browne +353 87 7648065 harry.browne@gmail.com,
Donal O’Kelly +353 85 8508370 donalokellytheatre@gmail.com
Joe Murray +353 86 3946893 joe@afri.ie

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