From 22-25 April, Kilfenora staged its 8th annual music festival, a series commenced in 2009 with the 100th anniversary of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. As usual, it featured great concerts, great céilís and great pub sessions. A small selection of photos of the events can be seen here.
- Sessions started on Friday and finished on Monday, as always with the cream of musicians from Clare and beyond – for a list of musicians and venues see here
- The Singers’ night on Friday evening in Linnanes pub gathered together some of the finest and most humorous singers and storytellers, hosted by Joe O’Connor.
- Friday night’s concert featured “At The Racket”, the all-star band that hark back to the sound of the Flanagan Brothers, with John Carty on banjo and fiddle (2003 TG4 musician of the year); Séamus O’Donnell on sax, flute and vocals (star of the ‘Burren to Boffin’ show in Kilfenora in 2014); Brian McGrath on piano, tenor guitar and banjo; Michael McCague on guitar. (Vaughans Barn, 8.30pm, €15)
- On Saturday in Vaughans Barn, there were 2 hour Sean-Nós dancing workshops, for beginners and for intermediate or advanced standard, provided by Emma O’Sullivan, a seven times All-Ireland champion and star of RTE’s “The All-Ireland Talent Show”.
- Saturday starting at 3.30 pm in St.Fachnan’s Cathedral, there were three CD launches, with the various musicians playing in concert (free). Claire Egan (fiddle) – “Turning Tides”; Elaine Hogan (harp) and Sheila Garry (fiddle) – “The Shores of Lough Breda”; Brian O’Loughlin (flute), Tom Delaney (uillean pipes) and Dessie Kelleher (guitar) – “Well For Some”.
- Saturday night’s concert brought together the historic duo of Tony Linnane (fiddle), Noel Hill (concertina), together with Padraic O’Reilly (piano) and Mick Conneely (bouzouki, fiddle), Emma O’Sullivan (dancer), and All-Ireland champion singers Deirdre Scanlan and Kathryn Nea (Kilfenora Hall, 8pm, €15). There was also an appearance by the talented young fiddler Seamus O’Gorman and two of his two sisters – All-Ireland champions all. Read more here.
- The Star of Munster band led a céilí on Saturday at 10pm, and the Four Courts band hosted the Sunday night céilí from 9.30 pm (both in Vaughans Barn).
- On Sunday 24 April, 10 am, St Fachnan’s Church, there was an Aifreann Traidisiúnta – mass with traditional music (main street Kilfenora)
- On Sunday at 12 noon, Hugh Healy (concertina) and Brian O’Loughlin (flute) hosted a ‘Trad for Teens’ session in Kilfenora Hall (for an hour). A throng of young musicians were led through some tunes.
- On Sunday at 3pm, the great Kilfenora Céilí Band played for a free céilí in the Square – with large numbers of dancers and spectators. On show was the band’s new guest singer – Edel Vaughan – fresh from launching her new CD “Spreagtha”. An award-winning Young Kilfenora band played a short set of tunes beforehand.
- Before the Kilfenora bands played there was a flag-raising ceremony to commorate the centenary of the Rising, with a reading by primary school children of the 1916 proclamation.
After the festivities in the Square, pub session continued from afternoon ‘til late, and on through Monday evening, including a monster gathering featuring stars of the Kilfenora, Tulla, Shaskeen and Thatch céilí bands and the songs and stories of Des Mulkere and Sean Conway – a fitting finale to a great weekend. (See video here.).