A CELEBRATION to mark the momentous 60th Anniversary of the Guinness Singing and Swinging Pubs welcomed a huge crowd of publicans, musicians and members of the public to The Gaelic Bar for a night of laughter, music and entertainment.
Past competitions and competitors were honoured accordingly with photos of bygone years adorning the walls with a few of those in attendance coming face-to-face with images of their younger selves.
Guinness representative and competition organiser since 1996 Brian Cantwell welcomed the crowd, saying that the rehearsals had already begun and that the competition was all about passion, something which was highlighted in the many old photographs.
He also welcomed a host of former publicans, all present to celebrate the competition’s 60th year in existence: “This competition was the original X-Factor but it was better because the Singing Pubs showcases talent.”
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. Jim Allen commented that it was great to see so many familiar faces and that the photographs from the Denis O’ Connor archive were a fantastic record of the town’s history. He thanked Guinness for their continued support, giving his own interpretation of why the Opera Festival was 61 and the Fringe only 60: “The first year of the Opera Festival, there must have been no drink so they got Guinness involved the following year!”
He commended the Festival’s ability to boost the local economy and celebrate the town: “The Opera Festival is a time for the town to put its best foot forward. It is one of the unique festivals in Europe and we are so pleased to continue to support this wonderful festival.”[Full coverage in this week’s Echo newspaper.]