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O’Carolan Harp Festival Celebrates 33 years

Harpers and Traditional Musicians are expected in large numbers to the picturesque Village of Keadue on the shores of Lough Meelagh for the 33rd. O’Carolan Harp Festival which  takes  place  from  July 29th..  to August  1st.  The  Summer  School  in  Traditional  Music, Song  and  Dance  precedes  the  Festival  from  July  24th. To July 29th. Students  attending  the  classes  at  the  Summer  School  can  avail  of  the  following  workshops  in  Harp,  Flute, Tin  Whistle, Fiddle, Banjo, Button Accordion, Concertina, Bodhran, Traditional Singing, Set Dancing and Sean nos Dancing. A number of Instrumental Music Competitions, Ceilis and Lectures will also be held.

Over the Festival weekend there are Concerts, Music Sessions, Harp Recitals, Lectures, Ceilis and Door Dancing.

On Sunday July 31st. the Official Opening of the Festival takes place and this year we are honoured to have the President of Ireland Her Excellency Mary McAleese to perform the opening of the Festival at 3.30pm.In fact this is the Presidents 3rd. time to visit Keadue. The President visited Keadue in 2000 when she opened the Festival and again in 2004 to celebrate and unveil a plaque in honour of winning the National Tidy Towns Competition.

Following the opening the music of Shebeen, Liam Purcell and friends, Harp recitals and traditional music sessions can also be heard throughout the village.

This years Festival held under the auspices of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann sees one of the biggest and most exciting line-ups ever, with a variety of music sessions and other traditional entertainment on offer to the thousands of visitors who are expected to attend.  The spotlight will once again be focussed on the harp events, as the Festival has now become a focal point for harpers the world over.

The International  Harp Competitions is being held this year on Saturday July 30th. a change from previous years,  sponsored by Arigna Fuels Ltd. Indeed we would like to thank all our sponsors over the years.

On August Monday 1st. following a visit to the grave of Turlough O’Carolan at Kilronan Cemetery a Lecture entitled “Travelling around Kilronan through the ages” will be given by Canon Peadar O’Laimhin. One of the highlights of the Festival is a special concert in  Keadue Church on  Friday night July 29th.when leading  Harper  Seana  Davey and her band will perform.

Another group to look forward to is the All Ireland winning Ceili Band Dartry. This Band includes All Ireland champions and will perform in concert on Saturday July 30th.

The Parade headed by the Tempo Marching band from Co. Fermanagh celebrating their centenary this year promises to surpass previous years with floats & Stilt walkers along with a special appearance of Sean Nos ar an tSionann.R.T.E. All Ireland Talent Show finalists.

There is a special treat for visitors to the Summer School  with a Song  &  Harp  recital  featuring Grainne Hambley & Holly Geraghty who  will perform here in  Kilronan  Castle  on  Wednesday night 27th.  July.

On Sunday night August 1st.  we  will  see  the  return  of  Irelands  top  traditional  Band Eleanor Shanley & DeDannan   who  have  played  to  packed  audiences  in  Keadue  some  years ago and  there  is  no  doubt  that  we  can  expect  a  massive  welcome  for  this  great  band.

Door Dancing

The most popular event at the Festivals over the 32 years is the Door Dancing competition where traditional dancers dance on a door now it is known as Sean Nos Dancing.

Other groups and artists appearing at the Festival include  Derek Warfield & the Young Wolfe Tones, O’Carolan Country Ceili Band, Swallows Tail. Mad for Road, Matt Cunningham & Eugene Murphy.

For further information contact Margaret Grimes – 071 9647247 or Paraic Noone 071 – 9647204,



Permalink - Posted: July 19, 2011 at 9:14 am