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Frank Harte Singing Festival a Celebration of Irish Song

  • Frank Harte festival to celebrate generations of traditional Irish song
  • Annual gathering to welcome guest singers from Ireland, Scotland & USA
  • 2019 also the 40th anniversary of Góilín Singers - Dublin’s leading singing club

One of the most celebrated gatherings of traditional Irish song takes place this month with the Frank Harte festival taking place over three days: Friday 20 to Sunday 22 September.

A gala concert, a workshop, plenty of singing sessions and a tour of Dublin through its songs makes the weekend a must for anyone interested in the lore and tradition of unaccompanied singing. Dublin’s Góilín Singers Club, which organises the festival, this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, and in that time has seen many great singers attend its weekly sessions, from Christy Moore to Daoirí Farrell to members of groups such as Landless and Lankum, to give their own rendition of traditional or new songs.

This year the festival headliners will include multi-talented Donegal musicians The High Seas (Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh & Cathal Ó Curráin), award-winning sean-nós singer Conchubhar Ó Luasa from the Múscraí Gaeltacht, and New York-based author and singer Dan Milner, known for his extensive collection of traditional songs. From the Scottish Borders tradition, Kathy Hobkirk brings an understated style and unerring storytelling instinct to her many songs, some sad, some funny and some just a bit naughty. Belfast’s Sinéad Caher and Góilín’s own Tony Fitzpatrick complete the line-up. In keeping with the Góilín tradition, sessions are open to contributions from all present and many other renowned singers will be heard over the weekend.

Speaking about this year’s Frank Harte festival, Máire Ní Chróinín said: “We have a superb line-up again this year with some brilliant singers from Ireland and further afield. As well as the concert and singing sessions, we have a singing workshop and a singing walking tour of Dublin - a great way to experience how so many songs are intimately connected to place.”

Speaking about why unaccompanied singing resonates so much with Ireland’s cultural heritage, Góilín Chairperson, Jerry O’Reilly, said: “Ireland’s singing culture in 2019 is vibrant and energetic, with people delving back into the past to resurrect evoking ballads and new songs appearing all the time, many of them building upon what went before them. We are proud to be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year as the Góilín Club - which continues to enjoy, support and develop our island’s deep singing tradition.”

The first Frank Harte festival took place in 2006 and quickly became known as one of the best annual celebrations of traditional singing in Ireland. Over the years it has consistently attracted top class singers, as both headliners and contributors from the floor. This is the 14th annual festival commemorating the singing life of Frank Harte, who was a prominent member of the Góilín Club, as well as a great collector and singer of songs.

All 2019 Frank Harte Festival events take place in the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square, apart from the singing tour which begins at the Fusilier’s Arch in Stephen’s Green (Grafton St. Entrance). The Góilín Club would like to thank An Comhairle Ealaíon and The Teachers’ Club for their continued support for the Frank Harte Festival.

Each session is priced individually. A festival ticket that allows entry to all events is available at the cost of €35. Further information on the festival and ticketing is available at

The Góilín Club was started in 1979 and has held Friday night singing sessions ever since. Sessions take place at 9pm in the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1. All are welcome who like to listen to or sing traditional songs in any language.


Friday 20th

Welcome and official opening of FHF

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Singing session

9:00 pm - late

Singing session featuring invited guests. Costs €5.00 (included in the weekend ticket €35).

Saturday 21st

Singing workshop

11:00 am

Singing workshop with Kathy Hobkirk and Máire Ní Chróinín. Costs €10.00 (included in the weekend ticket €35).

The Unstoppable Irish (The changing fortunes of the Irish in New York)

1:30 pm

Illustrated Talk presented by Dan Milner. Free.

Singing session

3:00 pm

Singing session. Free.

Grand concert

8:00 pm - late

Grand concert featuring our invited guests. Costs €20 (included in the weekend ticket €35).

Sunday 22nd

11:00 am

Singing and walking tour of Dublin. Booklet €3.00.(included in the weekend ticket €35)

Singing session and final farewell

3:00 pm

Final singing session and final farewell to our invited guests. Costs €3.00 (included in the weekend ticket €35).

Permalink - Posted: September 11, 2019 at 10:16 am