Kilfenora celebrates Guinness award for largest Irish folk band

On behalf of The Kilfenora Senior Citizens group, Comhar Conradh na Boirne Teo hosted a reception on Friday February 5th at The Burren Centre, Kilfenora to acknowledge the efforts of all who participated in helping to achieve a Guinness Book World Record.

On 27 April 2014, during the annual Kilfenora Traditional Music festival, the largest Irish Folk Music Band to date was gathered together, comprising 267 musicians, and led by The Kilfenora Céilí Band. The ensemble played a rousing version of three well-known ‘Kilfenora Jigs’. The certificate recording this achievement was received from the Guinness Book organisation in late 2015.

At the reception there were brief speeches from Annie McMahon (Chair of the Burren Centre), Micheal O’Riabhaigh (Chair of the Clare Comhaltas Fleadh 2016 Committee), John Lynch (Kilfenora Céilí Band leader) and Frances Connole (Burren Centre Manager, who also project managed the Guinness bid). These variously thanked those who contributed to the achievement of the award, celebrated the vigorous health of traditional music in North Clare, and looked forward to the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and the challenges for Ennis and all Clare in entertaining over 400,000 visitors.

John Lynch presented the Guinness certificate to Frances Connole – it will now be hung in The Kilfenora Céilí Band Parlour, an exhibition space in the Burren Centre opened by Irish President Michael D Higgins in March 2015. A copy of the certificate was also given to Gerard Linnane, Chairman of The Kilfenora Senior Citizens group.

The attendees were then entertained over refreshments by some famous Kilfenora tunes played by a group of North Clare’s most distinguished musicians – Chris Droney, Michael Kelleher, Michael Butler, JJ Conway, James Devitt and John Lynch, who had all played in the Kilfenora band – together with Katy Theasby (whose father Paul played with the band), Andy Lambert (KCB Parlour designer) and Emma Kelly (whose great-grandfather Jim Mulqueeny was a band member from the 1920s-50s).

A video taken on that day in 2014 by band photographer Key Hideki Nakao can be seen at This video may also be seen, along with many other exhibits and videos, in The Kilfenora Céilí Band Parlour. The photos below are courtesy of Elwood Lynch and Andy Lambert.