Date of plaque unveiling – 6th March 2015
Location – 7 Brookvale Drive, Antrim Road. Belfast. Bt14.6DE.
‘Patricia Mulholland created a distinctive style of Irish folk-ballet which inspired both performers and audiences alike’. The opening address from Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle, as he welcomed a very large crowd of guests. Many had travelled to the ceremony from Cork, Dublin, Dundalk and from England to Patricia Mulholland’s last home at Brookvale Avenue, north Belfast.
Former pupils of the Mulholland School of Irish Dance, some who were now teachers of Irish-Ballet, and young aspiring dancers gathered to commemorate this wonderful lady who was known for her own unique style of folk ballet which opened the world of Irish dancing to a wider cultural community. Many famous names were some of her former students, and although the actor, Ciaran Hinds could not be there for the unveiling owing to film commitments abroad, his sister Moya Hinds attended.
Speaking in front of the house with her mother beside her, Patricia Mulholland’s niece, Jude O’Neill Cumiskey who had nominated her aunt for the blue plaque, said ‘Auntie Patricia loved music from a very early age and had won many violin competitions, but it was dancing lessons which she gave in her home off the Limestone Road, which led her down a different path.’ Although Patricia Mulholland played the violin at many of her ballets, she became known as one of the most talented choreographers, performers and teachers of Irish Dance, and the ballets which she created were legendary.
Before unveiling the blue plaque which had been sponsored by the Belfast City Council, the Lord Mayor, Councillor Nicola Mallon said that she was delighted to commemorate this wonderful lady on the centenary of her birth in 1915, and to remember her as being a daughter of the City of Belfast, with an innovative style in the world of Irish Dancing.
After the unveiling at the Belfast Castle, guests were entertained to refreshments by the Mulholland/O’Neill families and many reminiscences were shared by all those who knew, loved and danced for ‘Auntie Patricia’.
Several haunting Irish melodies were played on Patricia Mulholland’s violin which had been brought over from England on the morning of the ceremony, by a family member.
A beautiful day at Brookvale Avenue and at the Belfast Castle, to remember one of Belfast’s finest ladies who contributed so much to the culture of the Island, and who with her talent brought so many people and communities together.
Photographs from the Unveiling ceremony:-
Photos left to right:-
- Guests who travelled from Dublin and Cork for the unveiling.
- Chris Spurr, Chairman of the Ulster History Circle,2nd left, and committee members with Councillor Nicola Mallon, Lord Mayor of Belfast.
- Jude Cumiskey, who nominated her Aunt for a Blue Plaque.
- The Lord Mayor unveils the plaque.
- The O’Neill/Mulholland extended families.
- Past and present members of the Patricia Mulholland School of Irish Dancing together with Lord Mayor, Nicola Mallon