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Magic in store with CAFE arts festival



Eleanor Shanley will be performing at the CAFE Arts Festival with Charlie McGettigan.

Galway’s newest arts festival, the CAFE (Carrabane Arts for Everyone) Festival will take place on the June Bank Holiday weekend in the village of Carrabane, five minutes from Loughrea.

The programme features top entertainers Charlie McGettigan, Eleanor Shanley and Maria Doyle Kennedy.  The event which is being organised by the Carrabane Community Development Group, is also focusing on family events.

The festival will centre on three locations – Carrabane’s newly opened Village Theatre, a forest walk which will be transformed by local children into The Enchanted Forest, and Carrabane Hall.

CAFE opens on Friday, May 29, with a children’s parade, and everyone is encouraged to dress up as inhabitants of The Enchanted Forest. Later that evening, Charlie McGettigan and Eleanor Shanley will perform in the Village Theatre. County Galway’s first pub theatre has tiered seating for 80 people, with full sound and lighting.

On Saturday, May 30 at 1pm families will be invited on a magical journey into The Enchanted Forest to hear tall tales from storyteller, Liz Weir. Liz has appeared at festivals such as the Australian National Storytelling Festival and has written more than 20 children’s books.

Later on Saturday, 25 people will head off on a five -mile bicycle tour of three unique locations with a short musical performance in each one. The venues are Bookeen Hall, a 200 year old former Church of Ireland which is now  a home, as well as 600-year-old Dunsandle Castle, now restored, and Callan Harp Studios where Brian Callan makes beautiful Irish harps. Acclaimed harpist Fiana Ni Chonail will perform there.

On Saturday night, singer and actress Maria Doyle Kennedy will be at the Village Theatre.

On Sunday puppeteer Tommy Baker will give a performance in The Enchanted Forest at 2pm. That night, the Show in a Bag theatre company will perform Charolais in The Village Theatre. This won the Bewley’s Little Gem award at the 2014 Dublin Fringe Festival and has been praised by The Irish Times and Sunday Business Post. The newly formed Carrabane Drama Group will also perform the one-act play, Where There’s a Will.

There’s a children’s origami workshop in Carrabane Hall on Monday, with Tom Cuffe, while the closing concert at 6pm on Monday, features talented young, local musicians.

Throughout the weekend, there will be a children’s art exhibition in Carrabane Hall. There will also be a children’s short story competition, with the winner being announced by Liz Weir.

According to one of the festival’s founders, Ciaran Cannon “the arts are for everyone and we have all the ingredients to make this festival a really special one”.

■ More details at and on the festival’s Facebook page.


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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