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Council grant gives £5k boost to Crawley Irish Festival

The 23rd annual Crawley Irish Festival takes place at The Hawth on Sunday 26 August from 12pm.

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The 2018 Crawley Irish Festival has received a boost of £5,000 through a community grant awarded by Crawley Borough Council to the Celtic and Irish Cultural Society (CICS).

The grant was handed to John Nolan, Chairman of CICS, by Councillor Brenda Burgess, shadow Cabinet member for Community Engagement, at a launch event for the festival held at the Town Hall on Tuesday (14 August) and attended by the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Castro; councillors; Ruaidhri Dowling, First Secretary (Irish Community and Cultural) at the Irish Embassy in London; cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy, Paralympic gold medallist and double world champion; event sponsors and members of the Irish community.

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The 23rd annual Crawley Irish Festival takes place at The Hawth on Sunday 26 August from midday.

The day before, local Irish Folk band Straw Dogs will play on the bandstand in Memorial Gardens from 2pm. Both events are free to attend.

Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Carlos Castro, said:

“We are blessed to live in a multicultural town. By inviting people to events like this helps to bring communities together.

“I wish you all the best for your event.”


Mr Nolan said:

“We are absolutely delighted with this funding award from Crawley Borough Council. Alongside the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme Grant and the funding from our main sponsors it will go a long way to meeting the running costs of this year’s festival.

“The festival promotes all that’s good about our culture so that Irish and non-Irish can be part of. We strive to be inclusive in bringing cultures and communities together. Crawley is continually being developed and has a vibrant mix of cultures with which events like the Crawley Irish Festival flourish.

“We want to make the whole day a success and give all visitors an enjoyable experience which can only be good for the town and its inhabitants. We are all looking forward to this year’s festival.”

CICS promotes knowledge of Celtic culture, arts, music and sport; holds events throughout the year; supports and enriches cultural activities; and supports and develops community involvement.

For more details on the Crawley Irish Festival visit www.celtic-irish.co.uk

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Northgate man sentenced to 18 years for sexual assaults on 10-year-old girl

A Crawley man has been given an 18-year-prison sentence for sexual assaults on a young girl.

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John Cole, 33, a mechanic, of Oak Way, Crawley, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday (11 October) having been found guilty after a five-day trial, of two offences of rape and four offences of engaging in sexual activity, against the 10-year-old girl between 2017 and 2018.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

Detective Constable Kirstie Prentice of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said;

“Cole came to know the young girl over a period of time and systematically sexually abused her, taking advantage of her age and natural vulnerability for his own sexual gratification, telling her her that if she told anyone they would both go to prison.

“Only when her mother found a note hidden in a backpack in the girl’s bedroom revealing she had been assaulted by him did the offending come to light, and police were informed.

“She has very bravely supported the investigation throughout and gave evidence against Cole in court, with special measures including a screen to help her.”

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