Argentina Day Celebrations in Foxford this weekend - Visit North Mayo

A unique and historic occasion celebrating the bonds between Foxford and Argentina, and honouring the legacy of Admiral William Brown, will take place in Foxford this Saturday, 22nd June 2024. The event commemorates the 247th anniversary of Admiral Brown’s birth. Everyone from the Foxford locality and the Argentine community living in Ireland are warmly invited to join the festivities. People from all around Mayo and Ireland also invited visit the area and experience the atmosphere.

Statue of Admiral Brown in Foxford , image by Mayo North Tourism

Honouring a Historical Figure

William Brown, born in Foxford on 22 June 1777, is celebrated in Argentina as the founding father of the Argentine Navy. This event commemorates the deep ties and friendships established over the years between Ireland and Argentina through the Admiral Brown Society.

Margaret Reilly, chairperson of the Admiral Brown Society, encourages everyone to join this special occasion. “This is a day for the local community to come together and celebrate our cherished links with William Brown’s adopted country. Please come along and join us for what promises to be a great occasion. We look forward to seeing everyone out in their blue and white colours, turning Foxford into a colourful spectacle for the day,” she said.

Event Highlights and Schedule

The Argentine Ambassador, H.E. Ana Cachaza, and the Papal Nuncio, H.E. Luis Mariana Montemayor, will attend the celebrations. The Papal Nuncio will also celebrate Mass at 12 noon, which will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony on Chapel Road. As well as this there will be a walk to the Admiral Brown Promenade, and a reception at Moy Hotel.

The children of Foxford National School, along with their teachers Ms. Gordon and art director Bernadette Ruddy, have created a beautiful artwork of The Libertad, which will be unveiled on the day. In addition to this, Argentine singer Antonella and musicians will join local artists, including the Foxford Brass & Reed Band and performers from the Admiral Brown Comhaltas, to lead the ceremonies.

Beautiful artwork of The Libertad, which will be unveiled on the day.
The above shows a glimpse of the work in progress. Image by: Admiral Brown Society

Past Connections and Events

The Argentine Navy has a long history of visiting Foxford, fostering warm relations with the local community. In 1957, to commemorate the centenary of Admiral William Brown’s death, Argentina gifted a bronze bust of the admiral to Foxford. This tradition of camaraderie continued in 2022 when the Argentine Ambassador welcomed the crew of the ARA Libertad to Foxford. The ARA Libertad, one of the largest sailing ships in the world at 103 meters long, graced the waters of Killala Bay.

In addition to these celebrations, the Admiral William Brown Society in Foxford launched the innovative ‘Admiral Brown Heritage Trail.’ This initiative was soon followed by an Argentinian club, Guillermo Brown de Puerto Madryn, making headlines with a distinctive jersey honouring Admiral Brown, Foxford’s maritime legend.

Mairéad Melody Carr, Manager of Mayo North Tourism, praised the Admiral Brown Society for their efforts in strengthening ties between Foxford and Argentina. “These bonds place Foxford on a global stage, making it a must-visit destination,” she noted.

2023 celebrations in Foxford. Image by: Admiral Brown Society

In March of this year, Minister of State Dara Calleary laid a wreath at Admiral William Brown’s grave in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as part of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day missions. He was joined by Argentinian municipal leaders from the region. The minister also distributed specially commissioned pins featuring the Irish and Argentinian flags alongside an image of Admiral Brown, further symbolizing the enduring connection between the two communities.

Community Efforts and Supports

Margaret Reilly also highlighted the community’s efforts in preparing for the event. “The local Rural Social Scheme and Foxford Town Enhancement Scheme have been busy getting the town ready, with painting, strimming, and cleaning. The community appreciates their hard work and dedication. As well as this, we are grateful for the support of Cllr. Neil Cruise, O’Hara’s Bakery, The Moy Hotel, Mayo Education & Support Centre (The Art Blast Programme), and Foxford National School also,” she said.

The Admiral Brown Society together with Mayo County Council, and the Argentine Embassy warmly invite all to join in and celebrate this special day on 22nd June 2024.

This will be another emotional and memorable day for the people of Foxford and Argentina. The below video shows drone footage of the 2019 wreath laying ceremony in Foxford with the Argentine Navy for Admiral William Brown.

For more details, please visit the Admiral William Brown Twitter page as well as this, visit the Admiral Brown website.

While in the area, check out our guide to the top 10 things to do in Foxford.

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