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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Melissa McCarthy from Massachusetts Wins 2012 Irish World Dancing Championship in Belfast

Melissa McCarthy Performing at Christmas Celtic Sojourn
(Photo by Vic Dvorak)

Congratulations to Melissa McCarthy of Norfolk, Massachusetts, who recently won the prestigious World Irish Dancing Championship that took place at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  She bested other dancers from around the world in the Girls 15-16 age category.

The fifteen year old learned to dance at the Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole, founded and led by Liam Harney, himself a World Irish Dancing Champion who was also the lead dancer in Riverdance and a longtime professional dance instructor.  Harney's mother Sally is also an excellent Irish set dancer and teaches at the Academy.

Read Rich Fahey's story in the Boston Globe about the Academy and its talented young dancers.

For an account of this year's Championships held in Belfast, read Kathleen O'Reilly-Wild's Irish Dance Blog

The World Irish Dancing Championships are coming to Boston, Massachusetts from March 24-31, 2013, thanks to efforts by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and Irish-American cultural groups for putting in a successful bid to host the prestigious event.  The event will take place at the John B. Hynes Convention Center in Boston's Back Bay.

"We're so pleased to be bringing this unique event to Boston," said MCCA executive director James E. Rooney , noting that the agency won the event "based on our award-winning facilities, our top-tier service and, we admit it, being the most Irish city in America."

Boston has played host to many national Irish events in the past, including the North American Irish Dancing Championships and the national conventions of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

For year round details on Irish-American cultural activities, including music, dance, theatre, literature, genealogy, and more, visit

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