Traditional Music and Song

august, 2022

sun28aug4:00 pmZoë Conway and John McIntyre with Mairéad Ní MhaonaighCarlingford Heritage Centre, Church Road, Carlingford, Co. Louth4:00 pm Carlingford Heritage Centre Summer Series

Event Details

Returning to their Summer Series artistic residency at the Carlingford Heritage Centre for the twelfth year, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, will be joined by a different special guest artist each week. This week’s guest is award-winning uilleann piper and flute player, Louise Mulcahy, from Abbeyfeale in Co. Limerick.

The husband and wife folk duo from Co. Louth have been acclaimed as virtuoso instrumentalists with remarkable versatility. They have two highly acclaimed duo albums to their name: Go Mairir I Bhfad (Long Life To You), a 2012 collection of twelve specially commissioned pieces composed by leading Irish musicians including the late Mícheál Ó Súilleabhán, Tommy Peoples, Donal Lunny, Máirtín O’Connor, Peadar Ó Riada, Liz Carroll and Niall Vallely; and Live in Concert, released in spring 2017, featuring tracks recorded at live performances around Europe.

Apart from her mastery of the traditional genre – as a former all-Ireland senior fiddle champion – Zoë is also an accomplished classical musician which has enabled to appear comfortably as featured soloist with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, thee BBC Symphony Orchestra and the WDR Symphony Orchestra in Germany; with a repertoire that includes her own compositions as well as works composed for her by Bill Whelan.

Growing up in the Cooley Mountains of north County Louth, John McIntyre has been playing guitar since the age of 8.  He began his professional career as an electric guitarist with the successful indie band, The Revs, playing many venues and festivals including Oxygen and Slane in Ireland, Reading and Leeds in Britain, and touring throughout North America, Australia and Europe. John studied classical guitar and piano for many years, and from early childhood was immersed in the language, songs and traditional dance music of south west Donegal – his father’s homeplace. Aside from live gigs, John is equally comfortable in the recording studio both as a performer and a producer.

From the Gaoth Dobhair Gaeltacht in Donegal,  fiddler and vocalist, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, comes from a family steeped in traditional music. Her father, Francie Mooney was a noted fiddler, songwriter and teacher while her mother, Kitty Rua was also raised in a musical house with frequent house dances. Mairéad and her siblings; Gearóid and Anna all play music together and have recorded an album together, Na Mooneys. Mairéad’s first album Ceol Aduaidh was recorded in 1983 with her late husband, Frankie Kennedy, while she was working as a primary teacher in Malahide. The success of the album encouraged them to take a career break in 1987 which led to the creation of Altan and the rest, as they say, is history as international tours and more recordings beckoned.

Tragedy struck in 1994 when Frankie passed away to cancer. However, at his request, Mairéad continued with the band and signed Virgin Records in London bringing Altan to even wider international audiences. Between tours with Altan, Mairéad has remained close to her roots in Donegal to play, sing and teach her music to a new generation. She helped set up Cairdeas na bhFidléirí in the early 1980s to promote and preserve the fiddle music of Co. Donegal. She is a member of “T with the Maggies” which is a group of Donegal singers including Moya Brennan, Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill. Recently she has recorded with a group of thirteen Donegal-based female fiddlers known as SíFiddlers.

After many years of playing with the band and numerous requests for a solo recording, Mairéad released her first solo album, Imeall, as a limited edition in 2009. She toured the album between Altan commitments with her co-producer, Manus Lunny. In 2018, she was awarded the TG4 Gradam Ceoil as Traditional Musician of the Year. Mairéad is also a member of String Sisters, a Grammy-nominated sextet of the world’s leading female fiddlers. Together they have released two albums – Live and Between Wind and Water.

Tickets, each costing €16.24 (plus 0.81 handling charge), are available from


(Sunday) 4:00 pm


Carlingford Heritage Centre

Church Road, Carlingford, Co. Louth

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