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Fleadh Cheoil 2013 organisers pay tribute to the late Seamus Heaney

Organisers of this year historic Fleadh Cheoil 2013 in Derry have paid tribute to Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney who has passed away.

Fleadh Chairperson Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh said, “It is with great sadness that we learned today of the passing of Seamus. We would like to extend our sympathies to Seamus’s family and friends. The entire team here at Fleadh 2013 are truly honoured to have had Seamus with us for the Fleadh in Derry and it was entirely fitting that this very special performance was in Derry. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam”

Seamus Heaney and Liam O’Flynn performed as part of The Poet and the Piper during the first Fleadh Cheoil to be held north of the border in August.

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Arts Council expresses its regret at the passing of Seamus Heaney

The Arts Council has expressed its regret at the passing of Seamus Heaney.

Speaking today, Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council said, Seamus Heaney was a towering figure in the arts who will be mourned profoundly by people in Ireland and across the world.

“He was, undoubtedly, a poet of outstanding achievement and his contribution to literary and cultural life in Ireland has been, and will continue to be, immeasurable.

“His work, always intelligent, humane and beautiful, earned him devoted readers across the globe. Unstintingly generous, Heaney offered invaluable guidance and support to countless artists and writers, and remained a fervent advocate for the role of poetry and the arts in our society throughout his life.

His presence - on the printed page, at the countless readings and events he attended - will be deeply missed.”

Ms Moylan said the Arts Council’s celebration of its bursary award winners on 12th September, which will be addressed by the Taoiseach and which Seamus Heaney was expected to attend, would now be dedicated to his memory.

Seamus Heaney served as a member of the Arts Council from 1973 to 1978. He was a member of Aosdána from it’s inception and was elected a Saoi of Aosdána, the highest honour for an Irish artist, in 1997.

Ms Moylan added: “Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time.”

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 2:36 pm

The 15th Gathering Traditional Festival, Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, County Kerry

February 19th – 23rd, 2014

The 15th Gathering Traditional Festival returns on February 19th – 24th 2014 in the INEC and Gleneagle Hotel with concerts, ceilís, workshops and sessions.

The 3rd gathering showcase series in association with Culture Ireland makes a very welcome return in 2014. The showcase in association with Culture Ireland gives bands and solo performers the opportunity to perform in front of some of the directors of key musical festivals in Europe. This is a fantastic opportunity and previous year’s showcases have been hugely successful with acts being booked for some fantastic opportunities overseas. To book a place on this year’s showcase, please contact John O’Shea on email:

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

Scoil Cheoil na Botha

October 11th – 13th, 2013

October 11th–13th marks the 7th Scoil Cheoil na Botha traditional weekend in Scotstown, Co. Monaghan. Building on the success of the preceeding Scoil Cheoil na Botha weekends and reflecting an upturn in traditional music fortunes in the county, Scotstown will once again host some of the finest traditional music talent.

To coincide with the national Gathering festival, this year’s festival showcases many of the region’s finest traditional musicians. Among the artists confirmed for this year’s event are renowned harper and composer Michael Rooney, TG4 Young Musician of the Year 2013, Donal Mc Cague, former All–Ireland senior fiddle champion, Laura Beagon and former All–Ireland senior button accordion champion, Darren Breslin. The festival will also welcome home a member of its musical diaspora, piano accordionist Gerry Murray, a member of the acclaimed European based traditional group Shantalla, but with roots firmly in the Scotstown area.

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:28 am

Féile Frank McGann

October 11th – 13th, 2013

Strokestown Kitchen Session to be recorded for 1st Time

With the 11th Annual Féile Frank McGann getting ever closer, the Féile committee have announced details of the ‘Kitchen Session’ that traditionally takes place in the Victorian galleried kitchen in Strokestown Park House. Taking place on Friday 11th, the “Kitchen Session”, an idea conceived by the Féile Frank McGann team, will deliver yet another memorable night at this very special venue. With the kitchen fire lit, the lights down low and complementary glasses of wine, the atmosphere is one of warmth and intimacy – definitely an experience not to be missed!

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:27 am

Irish Music At Pordic, Brittany, France

September 28th – 29th, 2013

Irish Connection, a non–profit cultural association, is organizing its second Irish Music weekend on September 28th and 29th. Top of the bill is Beoga, with Claude Morice and friends as the supporting act: Claude on the flute with Sophie and Sam Gauthier on the fiddle and concertina.

Claude recently featured at the 2013 Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Derry, as part of his trio Armorican Street, showcasing Breton music there to great acclaim.

For further information visit the website

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

Cootehill gearing up for the 9th Gerry Whelan Memorial Weekend

September 13th–15th, 2013

Cootehill, County Cavan is again looking forward to an event– packed weekend of traditional music, song and dance as the 9th Annual Gerry Whelan Memorial Weekend September 13th–15th, 2013 fast approaches.

The popular annual festival, which will see local musicians and some of the top names in the music and singing tradition taking part in events to pay tribute to the late Gerry Whelan, who was actively involved with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann since the organisation was founded in 1951.

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:25 am


After a successful first season of The Willis Clan on GAC TV in the United States, the Clan has been playing US Irish festivals and developing quite a fan base. The president of Prime Tours in Dublin, Ohio was astounded at the response the family got on stage during their performances at the Dublin Irish Fest and approached the band about hosting a tour of Ireland. After a few weeks of planning, the tour has taken shape and is now on sale. There is a limited number of seats and a quick sell out is anticipated.

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:24 am


“I’ve always known Colm as a very accomplished and versatile banjo and mandolin player. On this recording, his playing is, as always, rich, full bodied and full of heart…. I wish him every success and hope that his recording captivates other listeners as much as it has done me.” This is what accordion maestro Máirtín O’Connor has to say about the debut release by Colm Naughton, The Space Between the Notes.

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:23 am

News from Al’s Banjos

Alan O’ Rourke from County Wicklow in Ireland makes Genuine Handcrafted Irish Tenor Banjos. They are custom made for each banjo to the clients’ requirements. Clients can visit the workshop where they can chat at length about what it is that they want in their Banjo ie; what kind of Tone Ring they would like, which type of solid timber they want their banjo made from and what design they would like, the type of action they require, whether they would like an Ebony or Rosewood finger board and peg head. Also the type of Pearl inlays they would choose, and finish they prefer whether Gloss or Matte etc. Once the design etc has been confirmed work on each Banjo will take between 4/5 weeks depending on  the workload in hand. Alan will always welcome back each client during the making of the banjo, especially to see the resonator and rim being formed as this is always quite an interesting part of banjo making.

Permalink - Posted: August 30, 2013 at 11:23 am
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