Sgt Brian Stones from the Mullingar Community Policing Unit with some of the Lithuanian traditional dancers.

Lithuanian group welcome summer at The Downs

The flavour of Lithuania was in the air at The Downs GAA club on Sunday week last, June 16, when the Mullingar Lithuanian Community held their now annual event, a family fun day, ‘Labas Vasara’, ‘Hello Summer’.

Daiva Kasikauskiene, chairperson of the Mullingar Lithuanian Community group, said the idea is that Lithuanian people gather in one place and to feel at home. “We have a market, traders who make and sell handcrafts; we have Lithuanian food as well, that people feel like at home in Lithuania. This event continues now six years.

"Usually we start on first days of June, and it is nice to see lots of Lithuanian people in one crowd. We would like to say thank you to everyone who came and who helped us – Marijus Gudynas from the Embassy of Lithuania in Ireland, Lithuanian groups, lots of dancers – Suktinis, a folk dance group from Dublin, and Spiecius, a folk dance group from Dungannon, County Tyrone – the traders.

“We want to say thank you to the Downs GAA Club, who let us be here – it is a fabulous place; thank you, Aidan.

“We want to thank the local people who came to see the dancers, to listen to the music – we have a famous Lithuanian singer from the UK, Diamond, Vaida Narkeviciute, who is singing for us our famous songs.”

Daiva also added her thanks to the gardaí, the Fire Service, Westmeath County Council, the Public Participation Network, the Dept of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and Global Lithuania, and she concluded by expressing her gratitude to her colleagues on the Mullingar Lithuanian Community committee, “who can help to make this event possible, because if I will do alone, it is not possible.”