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Fiddler Brian headlines Éigse concert



Leitrim fiddler Brian Rooney.

Leitrim fiddler Bryan Rooney, known in traditional music circles as ‘the Godfather’, is the headline act for this year’s Éigse an Spidéil concert, taking place on Saturday night. Bryan, who emigrated to London in the late 1960s, is revered by both players and fans of Irish traditional music. He was the subject of the TG4 documentary, An Godfather, narrated by actor Brendan Gleeson and broadcast in Christmas 2014.

The annual arts festival Éigse an Spidéil, which celebrates local identity and creativity, has been celebrated for more than 30 years. This year’s event runs until Sunday, March 6. Highlights include be the concert with Bryan Rooney, accompanied by fellow Leitrim man and Spiddal resident, Charlie Lennon, in Óstán na Páirce on Saturday.

Support comes from Sliabh Luachra musicians Bryan O’Leary, Colm Guilfoyle and Emma O’Leary.

Éigse’s official launch is in Tigh Ghiblin this Thursday, followed by the festival’s poetry event, Ardán na hÉigse, with readings from Louis de Paor and Irish language poets. Louis’ new book, Grá Fiar, will be launched at this event and there will be music from fiddler and composer Tola Custy.

This Friday, Aisteoirí an Spidéil will present a performance in honour of 1916 in Coláiste Chonnacht. ‘Ionmhuin Liom Cois Fhairrge’ – Ómós do 1916’ le hAisteoirí an Spidéil will include An Gadaí and Eoghainín na nÉan, two popular short stories by Pádraic Mac Piarais, and Dúirt Sé, Dáirt Sé, a translation of Spreading the News by Lady Gregory, which was staged in Spiddal in 1914.

The annual singing competition for young singers takes place at noon in Óstán na Páirce this Saturday, while Bryan Rooney and Jesse Smith will give a fiddle masterclass at Studio Cuan from 1.30pm to 4pm.

Sunday sees the Éigse guided walk with Timín Joe Tim Ó Curraidhin, starting at Cill Éinde at noon.

The festival will close with a session with young musicians from Cois Fharraige under the direction of Toner Quinn. That’s in An Droighneán Donn at 2pm, where the winner of this year’s Laoch an Traidisiúin will be announced.

The Éigse art exhibition, featuring the work of Connemara artist Breandán Ó Súilleabháin, will be on view for the duration of the festival and beyond in An Builín Blasta at an Ceardlann an Spidéil.

For more information and a full list of events see


Folk duo launch What Will Be Will Be



Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce.

Folk duo Niall Teague and Pádraic Joyce are launching their new album What Will We Be, a  blend of folk, Americana and acoustic music, this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in An Taibhdhearc.

The success of their well-received 2020 release Taobh le Taobh, as well as recent successes at the Pan Celtic and Oireachtas Song Contests, spurred the duo on to record this new album which represents many years of collaboration and musical development.

It features Niall and Pádraic on vocals, harmonies, and acoustic guitars, Maidhc Ó hÉanaigh on double bass and Neil Fitzgibbon on fiddle. The catchy title track, What Will We Be, features contributions from percussionist Jim Higgins (The Stunning, Christy Moore, Paul Brady) and haunting, driving melodies on vocals, guitar, and fiddle.

Themes of love and hope are woven through Come Away with Me which features interplay between piano and fiddle as well as rich vocal harmonies.

People, places, and broken dreams are celebrated and lamented on Martin and Tom, Guitar Gold, Memories of You and Achill Island. The influence of David Henry Thoreau’s novel Walden features on the tracks Simple and Wise and Walden, with the beauty of nature, escape and simple pleasures at their core.

The album moves from minimalistic folk ballads such as Galway Ghost to swirling, string-laden arrangements on the song Neptune, both of which are influenced by maritime tales from Galway. Much of the work on this album was supported by the Arts Council, including work with musical arranger Eoin Corcoran and the string ensemble Treo.

The album will be launched this Friday, May 19, at 8pm in an Taibhdhearc. Tickets €22, plus booking fee at

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All roads lead to Dunmore as town tunes up County Fleadh



Most of the competitions for young musicians will take place this Saturday in Dunmore Community School. All the competitions are open to the public.

Dunmore is the place to be this weekend for lovers of traditional music, as the Galway County Fleadh will take place there from this Friday, May 19, to Sunday, May 23.

It is 10 years since Dunmore last hosted a fleadh and the local Comhaltas branch, which has re-formed since Covid, is looking forward to facilitating this gathering of music, song, dance and craic.

The official Opening Concert will take place in Dunmore Town Hall this Friday at 8pm with the acclaimed Mulcahy family from Limerick. Mick, Louise and Michelle are well known throughout the country, thanks to their live performances, television appearances and numerous CDs. They were the winners of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Grúpa Ceoil Award for 2023.  Tickets for their concert can be purchased on the door and a great night of music is promised.

Two days of competitions will kick off this Saturday at the town’s Community School, with more than 1,500 competitors taking part. Participants will be hoping to qualify for the Connacht Fleadh 2023, which will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, from June 23 to July 2.

Competitions for those aged Under 10, Under 12 and Under 15 will be held in a large variety of instruments on Saturday, as well as in singing and Comhrá Gaeilge. Sunday’s competitions will be for the Under 18 and Over 18 ages groups, as well as in dancing.

On both days a large entry is expected for Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions across all age groups.

Seventeen Comhaltas branches from across Galway will have participants in this weekend’s competitions, which will result in a large number of visitors to the Dunmore area.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the competitions, which offer a great opportunity to hear and see the talent on display. There will be sessions in local pubs over the weekend as well and everybody is welcome to attend these.

For more information on the County Fleadh, go to


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Piano concert rescheduled for Tuesday



Pianist Cédric Pescia.

Music for Galway’s concert with renowned Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia which had been due to take place on April 27 but which had to be deferred, will now take place next Tuesday, May 23, at 8pm, in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall at the University of Galway.

This concert of German classics with Bach at its core, will brings the Bach element of Music for Galway’s 41st season to an end.

This world-class pianist who won the famous Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition, has a repertoire that spans many eras from baroque to contemporary and he is widely known for his elaborate programmes. Cédric Pescia describes music as  ‘language and movement at the same time’.

Audiences will have a chance to experience his soft, clear touch as he performs a programme for solo piano that will include classics such as Schumann’s popular Waldszenen (Forest Scenes), a suite of nine short pieces, and the penultimate of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, No. 31.  These pieces will be interspersed with French Suites by Bach.

■ Ticket for Cédric Pescia’s concert are available at, or by phone 091 705962 and on the door on the night. They cost €20/€18. The price for fulltime students of all ages is €6 while MfG Friends can avail of the friends’ rate of €16.

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