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Festivals Galore!

Festivals Galore!

A wonderful weekend of traditional music, craic, drama dancing and many cultural events took place from Carna to Inis Meáin to Dingle over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

 Féile Chomórtha Joe Éinniú kicked of in Carna in the heart of the Conamara Gaeltacht on Friday night with a grand opening at Árus Shorcha Ní Ghuairim where a very special evening dedicated to local sean-nós singer Dara Bán Mac Donncha took place.  Dara is a well known sean-nós singer for man years and on the night he was recognised for the contribution he has made towards keeping the language and sean-nós alive in the Carna are.  On Saturday many workshops were hosted and a wonderful sean-nós evening took place in the Carna bay Hotel with the best of local sean-nós singer present. Later that evening The Local Public Hall in Chill Chiaráin was packed to the door when some of Ireland’s most talented musicians took to the stage. Amongst the musicians were ‘The Hernon’ brother’s from Roisín na Máiniach, Marcus on flute and PJ on accordion the talented piper Mick O’Brien from Dublin.  The talented sean-nós dancers, brothers Gearóid and Pádraic Devane from An Aird Mhóir, dance Nathan Polatski, sean-nós singers Lillis Ó Laoire, Mairéad Ní Oistín and Jimmy Ó Ceannabháin from Ros Muc were also on stage as were other local talented musicians such as Pádraic Tom Pheaits Ó Ceannabháin from Coill Saille in Conamara and the renowned fiddlers from Renvyle sisters, Liz and Yvonne Keane

The craic was ninety in Cara the breathtaking  town of Louisburgh in Co. Mayo, hosted its own festival ‘Féile Chois Cuain’. 
This little town on the west coast of Ireland was brought to life with traditional music sessions, sean-nós singing, dancing, workshops and other festival activities. The festival activities kicked on Friday evening with session in the local pub.  Various workshops took place throughout the day on Saturday with workshops conducted by the extremely talented accordion player Fiachna Ó Mongáin who comes from a very musical family and hales from Dumha Thuama in the Mayo Gaeltacht.  Claire Keville conducted a concertina workshop and sean-nós singer Áine Ní Cheallaigh shared her talented also. Conamara sean-nós singers were well represented in Mayo throughout the weekend during a sean-nós session.  Many talented sean-nós singers joined in the craic.  Amongst those present were Johnny Mháirtín Learaí Mac Donnchadha , Tomás Ó Máille, Máirtín Tom Sheáinín from Ceantar na n-Oileáin, Meaití Jó Shéamuis Ó Fátharta from Cois Fharraige, Áine Ní Dhroighneáin along with singers Briocán Bairéad, Síle Uí Mhongáin, Katie Sweeney.

The craic in Galway and Mayo was not confined to the west coast however as in Loughrea this year’s ‘International Drama Festival’ was taking place. This year’s festival gathered together many of  Ireland best stage actors/actresses. The festival kicked off on Friday evening when RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter Máirtín Mac Donnchadha officially opens this years festival and many a music and sean-nós singing session followed.  As well as having plenty of drama throughout the bank holiday weekend other event took place also. A great variation of drama was performed on stage throughout the weekend with representations from drama groups from all over Ireland which included actors from Na Dúnaibh in Donegal, Corca Dhuibhne (West Kerry) Cill na Martra Cork Gaeltacht, Aisteoirí Bulfin from Dublin  Baile Átha Cliath, Aistreoirí An Cheathrú Rua from the Conamara Gaeltacht Cumann Drámaíochta Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh as well as many talented local actors from Loughrea. The talented actress from Ros Muc, Conamara Bríd Ní Neachtain had an extremely tough tasks in picking the winners and The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív T.D. present the awards. The west of Ireland could not be left with all the fun and surely the Kingdom had their own celebrations during Féile na Bealtaine which was held in Dingle.  This year the festival was celebrating it’s 15th anniversary. 

The Dingle Peninsula which has a rich cultural heritage was the host to one of Ireland finest cultural festival. The Festival”s succeeded in its aim to highlight and promote the natural heritage, and to introduce the arts and artists from other parts of Ireland and the world to all of the people of Corca Dhuibhne and its bilingual culture.The street in Dingle came to life with traditional music, dance and arts while poetry reading and drama which was staged by locals. In the meantime the residents on Inis Meáin in the Aran Island were having a party of their own as they hosted Féile Phléaráca Chonamara 2009. This festival celebrated it’s 18th years and its aim was to celebrates rural tradition and the richness of the ocean.  The festival started with a fantastic evening of music in Halla Pobail Naomh Eóin with Conamara musicians Sonaí Choilm Learaí and Beartla Ó Domhnaill & Ceann Golam.  Cultural Island walks were held along with outdoor art expeditions by the local children along with a photography expedition which reflected on the island’s history was officially launch as part of the weekend’s festival activities.The musical ‘Dónal Cam & Diarmuid na Cruite’ as staged by local school children and many other cultural events including dance and craft workshops took place also.The house which was once lived in by the renowned Irish playwright John Millington Synge was the special venue for a wonderful evening of poetry and sean-nós singing many talented writer such as Joe Steve and Máirín Uí Neachtain, Louis dePaor, Dara Beag Ó Fátharta, Peadar Mór Ó Conghaile, Jackie MacDonncha and singer Dara Ó Conaola along with singer Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola were present on the night and a session followed into the early hours of the morning.The weekends events finished with an wonderful evening of entertainment with this year’s ”All Ireland Talent Show” winners  ‘The Mulkerrin Brother’s’ and other talented musicians.

In the meantime in Dungarvan ‘Féile na nDéise’ was in full swing.Many cultural events took place from street entertainment, music and dance.Micheál O’Muircheartaigh arguably the most recognisable voice of the Irish language on radio today and patron of this years festival officially launched this year’s festival on Thursday night.The streets of Dungarvan were overwhelmed with live music and multicoloured dancers and street entertainment while local children were enchanted by a live puppet show.

Further information about events and festivals is availble in the Féilire on If you are advertsising an Irish language or cultural event let us know and let our readers know by sending us info about the event to

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