Thursday, 27 May 2010

Volcanic Ash Replaced By Moving Cloud In Clare

Forget the volcano in Iceland as the town of Ennis erupts with Music, Song and Dance from 23rd to 31st May for the Fleadh Nua.

The only “Moving Cloud” that Met Éireann and Michael O’Leary will have to worry about is the reel of the same name as the festival returns to the country’s Traditional Music Capital.

With a programme of over 60 events - many of which are free – Fleadh Nua is a family friendly festival with the emphasis on entertainment and enjoyment. Highlights of this year’s Fleadh include:

Ennis was a hive of traditional music activity in the Seventies with the result that Fleadh Nua benefitted greatly from the sterling efforts of local families – both parents and children - like the Hanrahans, the Murrays, the Roches, the Cotters, the McMahons and the Nugents from Barefield. When Fleadh Nua first came to the town back in 1974, the Aos Óg Concert was one of the highlights – as it continues to be to the present day. Consequently, it is our privilege and pleasure to welcome some of these artistes back to the Fleadh for this year’s Celebrity Concert.

The Concert line-up includes Kieran and Mike Hanrahan, Paul Roche and Helen Murray, Vincent McMahon, Geraldine and Eamonn Cotter, Mary and Josephine Nugent, Cyril O’Donoghue and Séamus McMahon amongst others. A most welcome addition to the line-up is Concertina Maestro, Noel Hill who will be accompanied by his daughter, Aisling on the night. Aos Óg has always prided itself on bringing outside acts to the attention of audiences drawn in the main from County Clare.

Noted Piper, Eoin Ó Riabhaigh, Flute Player, Conal Ó Gráda and Colm Murphy on the Bodhrán were amongst the earliest performers to subject themselves to the scrutiny of a discerning Clare Audience. They obviously passed muster as their musical careers have gone onto bigger and better things. Join Eoin, Conal and Colm as they retrace their journey to Ennis over 30 years ago as they perform at the Celebrity Concert

Fleadh Nua is delighted to host the Riches of Clare series of Free Lunchtime Concerts in association with Clare County Council Arts Office. The County Museum is the august venue for the concerts which will run from Monday, 24th May to Thursday, 28th May. The line up is a veritable who’s who of Traditional Musicians. First up are Seamus McMahon, Tim Collins, Dessie Mulkere and Jim Corry. Tuesday sees Niamh O’Dea, Michael Queally, Padraig Rynne and Tommy Carew take centre stage.

Caoilfhionn Ní Fhrighil, Damien O’Reilly, AnneMarie Rynne and Eimear Howley perform for the Wednesday concert. The final concert features Paul Brock, Manus Maguire, Enda Scahill and Denis Carey. Further information is available on


Fleadh Nua meets Hollywood with the screening of “Last Night As I Lay Dreaming” – a not to be missed documentary on the life and times of Robbie McMahon. The contribution made by the Spancilhill native to the world of singing down through the years, both through his own compositions and his unique interpretation of traditional songs, is immense.

This film, directed by Ray Conway, features interviews with those who have known Robbie over the years as well as contributions that set his achievements in a wider context, highlighting the important role the singer and songwriter has traditionally played in their local communities, recording events and keeping that memory alive for future generations. Contributors include Grammy Nominee Maura O’Connell, Kieran Hanrahan and poignantly, Gary McMahon and Dermot O’Brien both of whom have passed away since being filmed. As well as being supported by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, ‘Last Night As I Lay Dreaming’ received funding from the Arts Office of Clare County Council, through its Traditional Music Initiative supported by the Arts Council.


Every serious festival these days seems to run a number of fringe events and Fleadh Nua is no different. The Bríd O’Donohue Music School is based in Miltown Malbay and will be showcasing their talents in a Concert featuring performances by the School’s Grúpa Cheoil, Céilí Bands, Tin Whistle and Flute Groups. Uilleann Piper, Séamus Ó Rocháin and Vincent Griffin on Fiddle will also join Bríd on the night. Glór also plays host to late night gigs for Lúnasa and for Guidewires on. See for details. John Spillane visits Patrick’s Bar in the Market as part of the CeolÓlta Sessions – more information is available on

As always Fleadh Nua has something for everyone - Céilithe, Music and Set Dancing Workshops, Street Entertainment, Traditional Singing Sessions, Storytelling, Oíche Ghaelach, Seisiún Launch, Ciorcal Cainte, Corofin Teach Ceoil Tribute, A Guided Walking Tour, The National Dancing Championships, Senior And Junior Cabaret Shows, “The Banjo Strikes Back” – a dedicated Banjo/Mandolin/Guitar Session, Pub Music Trail, and Street Music Trail and Cupán Ceoil – a series of Café Music Sessions. And that is only the organised part of the programme! A myriad of sessions both indoors and out ensures that the narrow, medieval streets of Ennis will resound with Traditional Music, Song and Dance throughout the Festival.

See full event details at

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