Diane Forsythe, who represented the DUP in the last Westminster election in South Down, speaking on behalf of the South Down DUP Association, said: “On Saturday night 21st October the South Down DUP Association hosted a very successful ‘Unionism Cultural Variety Concert‘ in Ballymageough Orange Hall.
“Following on from a successful band season and given the heightened attention placed on Unionist culture both politically and in the media, we in the South Down DUP thought this was the perfect opportunity to showcase and celebrate the range of talent we have in our culture throughout the area.
“A lot of hard work, dedication and commitment is involved in maintaining these acts and skills with practicing all year round and continuous teaching to those keen to learn.
“We are proud as a Unionist community to see our cultural traditions being carried forward by the younger generations and our concert truly represented that. We enjoyed performances including acts cross-cutting generations. Some people came out of ‘retirement’ to feature and some acts were specially choreographed to include the youngest of our performers.
“The enthusiasm and talent in our young people should be celebrated and applauded. The audience at our Concert was impressed by all on display and some inspiring words from Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP closed the night emphasising the strength of Unionism in South Down and across Northern Ireland.
“The Concert was compered by Ian Coulter, and acts performing were the Rising Sons of the Valley Blood and Thunder Flute band with their Colour Party demonstration featuring Cathy Clowes, Brooke Forsythe, Freya Forsythe and Alayna Crozier; the Beekin Bairns Ulster Scots Youth Choir; Kilkeel based singers Georgia Monteith and Rachel Hutchinson; Legananny Accordion Band; Mourne Drum Major performance; Kirknarra School of Dance; Ballymartin Pipe Band; Kilkeel poet Wendy Hanna; singer Paul Elliott from Armagh and solo Piper William Laffin from Ravara Pipe Band.
“We extend our sincerest thanks to the large crowd in attendance, the performers and all who sent support.”