Singers join dons to reflect on songs

A major weekend conference on traditional songs and singers will take place in June at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick (pictured above).

Jointly organised by two major interest groups – the British-based Traditional Song Forum and the Traditional Song as Cultural Heritage Research Cluster – under the all-encompassing title, As I Roved Out: Traditional Songs, Singers and Collections of Britain, Ireland and Beyond, the conference aims to celebrate shared song traditions and highlight those that make each culture unique. 

The singing traditions of Britain and Ireland are richly intertwined. Songs, singers and collectors have travelled throughout the islands and beyond, uncovering a tapestry of tradition all the more rich and complex for their cultural interconnections.

The conference will open on the evening of Friday June 3, with a reception followed by dinner and a singing session. The business end of the conference begins on Saturday June 4 with a full day of papers – each followed by a question-and-answer session. The day will conclude with an after-dinner concert. Sunday June 5 will see another day of papers with a singing session in the evening. For those staying in Limerick on Monday, June 6, there will be a free singing tour in the morning, with the possibility of a lunchtime singing session afterwards.

Throughout the event, staff of the Irish Traditional Music Archive will also be on hand to present a pop-up exhibit.

For would-be participants who cannot attend the event in person, the main conference sessions will be available as live streams at a reduced cost. Recordings of the formal proceedings of the conference will be available after the event for all registered participants.

The conference fees are:

  • In-Person: Full Conference plus Lunch and Tea €59
  • In-Person: Concession Admission (for students and over 65s): €52
  • Online Only: €17
  • Add-Ons:  Conference Dinners: €23 each for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings

Registration is possible online at


The Traditional Song Forum (TSF) is offering bursaries for students and others under the age of thirty to attend the conference. There will be two bursaries of £130 for attendance in person at Limerick University, and another two bursaries of £15 each for online attendance. Applications for these bursaries should be made to Martin Graebe, Secretary of the TSF at, with details of the applicant’s study interests and specific reasons for his/her attendance at the event.

Accommodation Information

Bed-and-breakfast accommodation will be available on the University of Limerick campus for those who wish to avoid the commute. Details of the facilities are available from – at a rate of €59 a night for a single room. Double rooms are also available.

The Traditional Song Forum is a national organisation based in the UK that brings together those interested in the research, collecting and performance of traditional song.

The Traditional Song as Cultural Heritage Research Cluster is a group of song scholars/ performers at the Irish World Academy, focused on performance, preservation and transmission of traditional song in Ireland.

South Sligo Summer School set for July

The South Sligo Summer School is scheduled to run from July 10 to July 16 this year with a packed programme of formal and informal events for the week, including masterclasses, céilís, workshops, talks, concerts, sessions and more.

Based in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, the school places a particular emphasis on the Sligo style of fiddle and flute playing and this, alongside an extended range of workshops and new innovative elements each year, attracts people of all ages and abilities from near and far to attend and spend a week of total immersion in the local culture.

Dartry CéilI Band

Full Programme


Daily workshops for all ages across a wide range of traditional instruments, singing and dancing.

July 11-16 10am-1pm (10am-12pm on 16):
St. Attracta’s Community School: Fiddle, Flute, Whistle, Button Accordion, Banjo, Guitar, Mixed Instruments for Adults 
North Connaught College: Uilleann Pipes, Bodhrán
Teach Laighne: Traditional Singing and Lilting, Sean-Nós Singing
Kennedy Picture Framing: Harp
St. Brigid’s Hall: Set Dancing,
July 11-15: 2.30pm-5.15pm
St. Brigid’s Hall: Sean-Nós Dance
  • Leonard Barry (Uilleann Pipes – Improver/Intermediate)
  • Aileen Bourke (Concertina – Intermediate/Advanced)
  • Jarlath Brennan (Banjo – Improver/Intermediate)
  • Junior Davey (Bodhrán – Intermediate/Advanced)
  • Fiona Doherty (Mixed Instruments for Adults)
  • Stephen Doherty (Flute – Advanced)
  • Tommy Doherty (Button Accordion – Improver/Intermediate)
  • David Doocey (Fiddle – Improver)
  • John Dwyer (Whistle – Advanced)
  • Marian Egan (Whistle – Intermediate)
  • Declan Foran (Fiddle – Advanced – Sligo Style)
  • Bernie Geraghty (Concertina – Improver/Intermediate)
  • Holly Geraghty (Harp – Intermediate/Advanced)
  • Daithí Gormley (Button Accordion – Intermediate/Advanced)
  • Fiachra Guihen (Harp – Improver/Intermediate)
  • Séamus Hernon (Flute – Improver)
  • Kerrie Herrity (Banjo – Intermediate/Advanced)
  • Michael Hurley (Flute – Intermediate)
  • Caoimhe Kearins (Fiddle – Intermediate)
  • Fionnuala Kerins (Whistle – Improver)
  • Oisín Mac Diarmada (Fiddle – Advanced – Sligo Style)
  • Shane McGowan (Guitar – Improver/Intermediate)
  • Conal McCormack (Bodhrán – Improver/Intermediate)
  • Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin (Sean-Nós Singing)
  • Eiméar Mulvey (Sean-Nós Dance – All Levels)
  • Pat Murphy (Set Dancing – All Levels)
  • Siobhán O’Donnell (Traditional Singing and Lilting)
  • Séamie O’Dowd (Guitar – Intermediate/Advanced)
Leonard Barry
Kerrie Herrity
Caoimhe Kearins
Oisín Mac Diarmada
Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin
Séamie O'Dowd
Daily lectures from 2.30pm-3.30pm in St. Brigid’s Hall
  • July 11: The World of Francis O’Neill, Collector and Cop, presented by Michael O’Malley 
  • July 12: In Nearly Every House – Irish Traditional Musicians of North Connacht, presented by Gregory Daly
  • July 13: Great Duets of the Sligo Tradition, presented by Daithí Gormley
  • July 14: The Making of a Traditional Irish Album, presented by Brian Hughes and Dave Sheridan
  • July 15: Musicians and Entertainers from Killavil and Surrounding Area, presented by John Joe Brennan
Daily céilithe in St. Brigid’s Hall from 8.30pm-11.30pm 
  • July 10: Swallow’s Tail
  • July 11: Matt Cunningham Céilí Band
  • July 12: Dartry Céilí Band
  • July 13: Salamanca Céilí Band
  • July 14: Swallow’s Tail
  • July 15: Salamanca Céilí Band
  • July 16: Glenside Céilí Band



  • July 11: Tribute to Declan Folan (St. Attracta’s Community School) 8pm-11pm
  • July 12: Fiddle, Flute and Whistle Recital (The May Queen) 8pm-10pm
  • July 13: Button Accordion, Concertina, Banjo and Guitar Recital (The May Queen) 8pm-10pm
  • July 14: Bodhrán, Harp, Uilleann Pipes, Sean Nós and Traditional Singing Recital (The May Queen) 8pm-10pm
  • July 15: Grand Traditional Concert (Venue TBC) 8pm-10pm

Doolin Folk Festival returns in June

The eighth annual Doolin Folk Festival will take place on June 10-12 on three stages featuring leading Irish and international artists.

The festival takes the broadest definition of folk with the result that over the years, the Doolin weekend has featured everything from Limerick rappers to Saharan Blues, and from Clannad to King Kong Company.

Taking inspiration from the great festivals of the 1970s and 1980s in Lisdoonvarna, Doolin has become a highlight of the summer festival season in its magical location between the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran islands.

Ye Vagabonds

Confirmed so far for this year’s line-up are:

  • Ye Vagabonds
  • Mary Black
  • John Spillane
  • Damien Dempsey
  • Matt Molloy and Seán Keane
  • Cormac Begley and Liam O’Connor
  • Peggy Seeger and Calum MacColl
  • This Is How We Fly
  • The Olllam
  • Skippers Alley
  • Tara Breen, Pádraig Rynne and Jim Murray
  • The Goodman Trio
  • Fidil
  • Aoife Scott
  • Wyvern Lingo
  • Elikya
  • Niamh Farrell Band
  • Big Love
  • Rua Rí
  • DJ Will Softly
Mary Black
Seán Keane (left) and Matt Molloy

Festival organiser and Hotel Doolin Managing Director, Dónal Minihane explains: “The festival is relatively new on the scene but it feels like it has been going on forever. When I tell people it is only in its eighth year they can’t believe there wasn’t a festival here before. Doolin is synonymous with folk music in Ireland and so many musicians and music lovers have a connection with the area, the festival just feels so natural. The weekend is a celebration of Doolin and the music that has drawn and continues to draw people here from all corners of the world.”

The size of the festival means that tickets are limited with the each year selling out. Dónal Minihane says “We’re not interested in being a big festival. That’s the beauty about The Doolin Folk Festival, our size allows us to create a unique atmosphere, presenting powerful music in an intimate setting and ensuring that audiences and musicians can feel at one and just enjoy the communal spirit of such festivals.

The festival kicks off on Friday June 10 at 5pm in the Barn at the Hotel Doolin. Weekend tickets – each costing €119 plus €3 fees – are available from

Tara Breen
Calum MacColl (left) and Peggy Seeger
Nick Gareiss of This is How We Fly

Kilfenora prepares for twelfth annual trad festival

The 2022 edition of the Kilfenora Traditional Music Festival will be held on the weekend of April 22-25.

The festival is noted for great concerts, céilidhe and album launches as well as pub sessions from Friday to Monday – with many free events.

The headliners for the main concert this year will be 4 Men and a Dog, supported by the award-winning young fiddler Simon Crehan. The festival will also feature the usual open-air entertainment on Sunday in the Square, led of course by the Kilfenora Céilí Band, whose centenary in 2009 was the starting point for the annual festival.

4 Men and a Dog: (from left) Dónal Murphy, Gerry O'Connor,

Gino Lupari, Kevin Doherty and Cathal Hayden

The Programme for the Weekend

Friday April 22

  • Singers’ night in Linnane’s Pub (from 9pm), hosted by Nóirín Lynch, with singers and storytellers from the floor
  • Traditional music sessions in Nagle’s and Vaughan’s Bars

Saturday April 23

  • Breathtaking: album launch by Anthony Quigney in Linnane’s Pub (1.30pm)
  • Riches of Clare Concert with Nuala Hehir (accordion), Pauline Brody (banjo), Aine O’Donoghue (concertina), Áine Griffey (fiddle), Deirdre Scanlan (vocals, guitar) and Carol Cullinan (piano) in Kilfenora Cathedral (3.30pm)
  • Ceolaire: album launch by Hugh Healy in Nagle’s Bar (5.00pm)
  • 4 Men and a Dog in concert with Simon Crehan, Kilfenora Hall – Admission €20 (8.00pm)
  • The Star of Munster Céilí Band – céilí in Vaughan’s Barn – Admission €10 (9.30pm)
  • and trad sessions in the local pubs

Sunday April 24

  • Launch of Paula O’Regan‘s Music Tutor Book in Vaughan’s Barn (11.30am)
  • Trad 4 Teens Workshop with Josephine Marsh and Paula O’Regan in Vaughan’s Barn (12.00pm)
  • The Clare Céilí Band in Kilfenora Square (2.30pm)
  • The Kilfenora Céilí Band in Kilfenora Square (3.00pm)
  • and trad sessions in the local pubs

Monday April 25

  • Session in Linnane’s Pub (7.00pm)
  • Session in Nagle’s Pub (9.30pm)
The Kilfenora Ceili Band