St Patrick's 2021 = Fun In Lockdown

Even a year-long lockdown didn’t stop Luton Irish Forum (LIF) members and other locals enjoying St Patrick’s 2021.

On the day itself (17th March) 50 local people who struggle to cook or are socially isolated enjoyed a bacon and cabbage lunch, kindly donated and cooked by O’Shea’s Bar & Grill and delivered to their home by the LIF team.

An interactive online quiz was opened by Therese Walsh, First Secretary for Economic and Trade Affairs at the Embassy of Ireland, welcoming guests with a pre-recorded message. Some 120 people joined the live Zoom event, including both MPs for the town, Rachel Hopkins (Luton South) and Sarah Owen (Luton North).

Quizmaster was Eddie Doherty (formerly of The Pines Hotel) whose entertaining banter made for an evening full of fun and laughter. So admired was his tie that he was ‘persuaded’ to donate it as an additional raffle prize! The occasion was made extra special by many audience members dressing up in green and dining on traditional bacon and cabbage dinners or Irish snack boxes from Jack Berr Catering delivered to their homes.

Audience member Elaine Lister said: “Thank you all so very much for still celebrating St Patrick's day in a very different has made it very memorable” while Sharon O’Neill thought it “Really good community gathering, lovely to see the older generations connecting”.

Anyone driving along Hitchin Road near the town centre at the time, on Wednesday (17th) evening, may have seen a huge green light. It wasn’t aliens but was the Luton Irish Forum building, lit up kindly courtesy of BT Events, which usually does the staging, lighting and sound for the annual Luton St Patrick’s Festival.

A popular character at Festival parades over the year is ‘St Patrick’ (aka Tony Murphy, LIF volunteer). Unable to parade this year, he joined LIF staff in fundraising by taking on the Jerusalema challenge. The group video and solo freestyling by ‘St Patrick’ can be viewed on our Facebook page, where there’s also a link to fundraising details.

“St Patrick’s was certainly different this year, but we still managed to laugh and have the craic!” says Liz O’Halloran, Chair of Luton St Patrick’s planning committee. “Hopefully we can go ahead with a festival next year and it will be even more special to make up for the last two!”


If you have photos or video footage of previous Festivals from the past 21 years, please email us at or phone 01582 720447 and help build an archive that will be available free online for anyone worldwide to view. 


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