Welcome to Irish Heritage

Irish Heritage is a registered charity, established in London in 1974, whose object is to advance public education and appreciation of the arts, particularly those of Irish and Anglo-Irish music, arts, literature and drama of all genres and traditions to the benefit of the community.

It is the only Irish performing arts organisation in Britain dedicated to helping young Irish musicians and composers in the early part of their careers. It awards three valuable Bursaries annually, one for performance, one for composition and another for vocal studies and a special accompanist’s award..

Irish Heritage presents a programme of public events in established music venues and supports other organisations, including the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival that shares its aims in music and the arts.  It has links with the Royal Dublin Society and conservatoires in Ireland and Britain to identify emerging, talented young performers and composers.

The charity’s values: Creativity, Encouragement, Collaboration, Enjoyment and Inclusivity, reflect the legacy inherited from its founders Ethna and Charles Kennedy and are the inspiration for the organisation’s Outreach and Community programme, delivered in association with the Irish Cultural Centre, which brings the joy of live music to people who cannot normally access it, to children in education and to those who benefit from music as therapy.

You can support the work of Irish Heritage by becoming a Friend. (See Join Us)

A new website for Irish Heritage


For up-to-date news about Irish Heritage and its programmes and events please visit:



Christmas by Candlelight Concert” now live for you to enjoy

35 minute video that celebrates the spirit of Christmas

An introduction to the concert by Patrick Lennon, Chairman of Irish Heritage.

“Like so many in the performing arts Irish Heritage has been unable to present any live events for months, so when we were faced with the prospect of losing our popular Christmas concert, it was time to say ‘enough is enough’, we can’t let that happen so we decided to go virtual.

“Thanks to the enthusiastic support of His Excellency, the Ambassador of Ireland, Mr Adrian O’Neill and his colleagues, we were able to record the concert in the elegant surroundings of the Embassy in London on 7th December.

“The concert features a talented cast five of whom are Irish Heritage bursary recipients – Carolyn Holt, Amy Gillen, Mollie Wrafter, Justine Gormley and Aran O’Grady, the other two performers are Ava Dodd, the 2020 music bursary recipient from our friends at the Royal Dublin Society and Conall O’Neill, who starred in this year’s Wexford Opera Festival Factory.

“This year’s readers are H.E. Ambassador O’Neill and Katie Jemmett, Director of the Ireland Funds Great Britain.

“The concert which was coordinated by Irish Heritage’s Artistic Adviser, Audrey McKenna, presents a programme of popular Irish and classical music that is all about celebrating the spirit of Christmas.  We hope that you will enjoy it.

“On behalf of all concerned at Irish Heritage and the Embassy may I wish you a very Happy Christmas.  Let us hope that the New Year will see us return to safer times when Irish Heritge and other performing arts organisations can bring you the joy of live music again.” ”

The 35 minute concert is available on Irish Heritage’s YouTube channel. All you have to do is click on this link:

Photo caption: Ava Dodd, Carolyn Holt and Conall O’Neill perform for the cameras at the Embassy of Ireland on Monday 7th December.


IH - CbyC 2020 1

Second Season of the ICC Culture Hotline features Irish Heritage Bursary Recipients

Season Two of the Irish Cultural Centre’s “Culture Hotline” is the latest collaboration between the Hammersmith Centre and Irish Heritage.

From now until mid-December people who phone into the “hotline” can enjoy a series of recitals by a selection of Irish Heritage bursary recipients and friends.

The recitals which are part of the performing arts charity’s Outreach Programme, feature the recipients of the organisation’s bursary for performance from the past three years: pianist Adam Heron, flautist Amy Gillen and violinist Mollie Wrafter among other talented young musicians and singers.

Click on news story below for full details.




2020 Bursary nominations “the best ever”

Irish Heritage’s Artistic Advisor, Audrey McKenna, who is co-ordinating the adjudication of this year’s bursaries, has described the nominations received as being “the best ever” in her three year association with the charity.

Nominations for this year’s Music Bursary for Performance, the Brackaville Bursary for Vocal Studies and the special Accompanist’s Award, were received from Irish students attending leading colleges and conservatoires across Britain.

A panel of distinguished adjudicators – Professor Colma Brioscú, Head of Keyboard at the Royal Irish Academy; Ms Mia Cooper, Leader of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and Dieter Kaegi, Artistic Director of the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, co-ordinated by Audrey McKenna, will now review the nominations.

Irish Heritage will announce the recipients on its website and social media channels in early December.