‘Hats off’ in Kilfenora

Gerry Howard’s smash hit one-man show “Hats off to Clare” was staged in Kilfenora’s Community Hall on Saturday 18 April. He receieved a rousing reception for his tour-de-force performance.

Gerry Howard one man show LR

The KIlfenora show included an added feature in the shape of a contribution from Kilfenora musicians (JJ Conway, James Devitt, Shona Long, Colin Nea) and from the renowned Carran story-teller Paddy Hynes.

This was also a fund-raiser for Kilfenora Senior Citizens, so it was both entertaining and for a good cause.

Sessions in Kilfenora pubs – Sat 30 August 2014

Kilfenora will be hopping on Saturday evening, 30 August 2014.

First there will be the all-star concert in Kilfenora Hall at 8.00 pm, featuring Cherish The Ladies, with the Kane Sisters, singer Cathie Ryan and champion dancer Michael Donellan.

From 10.00-10.30 pm, sessions will start in Kilfenora’s pubs featuring many mighty musicians, including…

Nagles – Murt Ryan (accordion), Félim Collins (vcls, gtr) and Michael Queally (fiddle)

Linnanes – members of the Kilfenora and Tulla Céili bands including Anne Rynne, James Devitt, Siobhan O’Donoghue (fiddles), JJ Conway (flute)

Vaughans – no session arranged, yet…

‘Twill be a night to create musical memories for years to come!

Kilfenora session 2014 low res

Michael Donnellan dances into Kilfenora

The star-studded concert being staged in Kilfenora Hall on Saturday 30 August has just had a notable addition – two-times World Champion Irish dancer Michael Donnellan.

He will appear with Cherish The Ladies in Kilfenora Hall on 30 August, joining other special guests the Kane Sisters and singer Cathie Ryan.

As is well-known, Michael rose to prominence initially with Riverdance, and has since developed his own School of Dancing – see https://www.facebook.com/michaeldonnellanschool . He has toured extensively and internationally with his own stage shows and those that he has choreographed, such as the recent “Rhythms of Ireland”.

In particular, he is renowned for his work with the Kilfenora Céilí Band, both as a performer and choreographer of dance troupes that form part of their spectacular concert performances. Michael also has family connections with Kilfenora.

Tickets (€15) for this very special event have now SOLD OUT!


All-Ireland results 2014, Sligo

Of particular note for North Clare are these results.

Kilfenora – 1st for Jessica Nea in U12 piano, 2nd for Tara Howley in senior uillean pipes. Both come from well-known music families. Tara’s sisters Sharon and Eimear both play with the Kilfenora Céilí Band, and Eimear was senior banjo winner in 2010. Jessica’s father Colin won All-Ireland on button accordion in 1993-4, and her grandmother and great grand-mother were both pianists and music coaches to the Kilfenora Céilí Band.

Jessica All-Ireland U12 piano champion low res

Corofin – 1st for the Burren Céilí Band U15 and U18, coached by Garry Shannon of the Kilfenora Céilí Band; Inis Og Céilí Band got 3rd in U12; Cathal Corbett was 1st in U18 mandolin; Conor O’Loughlin and Conor Arkins (also from well-known music families) got places in concertina and fiddle slow airs.

Ennistimon – Arlene O’Sullivan was 1st in U15 mouth organ.

Particularly noteworthy are the achievements of Fergal Breen (U18) – 1st in both flute and whistle, and 2nd in uillean pipes.


These are the results for all Clare competitors in places 1-3 atFleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2014.

Fiddle – Paul Farren 1st U15 (Ennis), Rosa Carroll – 3rd U15 (Tulla)

Fiddle Slow Airs – Conor Arkins 3rd Senior

Flute U18 and Whistle U18 – Fergal Breen 1st (Doora Barefield)

Concertina – Rachel O’Dea 1st U12 (Ennis) and Aisling Lyons 1st U18 (Tulla), with Conor O’Loughlin 2nd U18 (Corofin)

Uillean pipes – Fergal Breen 2nd U18, Tara Howley 2nd Senior (Kilfenora)

Uillean pipes slow airs – Isabel Kileen 3rd U12 (Crusheen)

Harp – Eimear Coughlan 1st Senior (Tulla), Kate Meaney 3rd U12 (Lissycasey), Cara Ni Chiarba 3rd U15 (Shannon)

Harp slow airs – Eimear Coughlan 1st Senior

Mouth Organ – Arlene O’Sullivan 1st U15 (Ennistimon), Pauline Callinan 2nd Senior (Crusheen)

Banjo – David Hegarty 1st U15 (Cloughleigh), Donagh O’Sullivan 2nd U12 (Tulla)

Mandolin – Cathal Corbett 1st U18 (Corofin)

Piano – Jessica Nea 1st U12 (Kilfenora), Sean Doherty 2nd U15 (Ennis)

Melodeon – Caoimhe Millar1st Senior (Kilmihil), Aisling Hehir 1st U15 (Kilrush), Liam Browne 2nd U12 (Kilrush)

The complete results may be found here. All Ireland 2014 Results

Weekly trad sessions in Linnanes pub

Traditional music sessions tale place in Linnanes pub on Kilfenora Square every Wednesday until late September at c.9.30 pm, featuring notable musicians and singers including regular and guest members of the Kilfenora and Tulla Céilí Bands. Visitors are able to experience the tunes and style that has made North Clare – and Kilfenora in particular – famous in the arena of traditional Irish music.

Anne Rynne & JJ whistle

Top Irish-American singer in Kilfenora concert

Cathie Ryan is to be the guest vocalist at the star-studded Cherish the Ladies concert being staged by Kilfenora Trad Fest on Saturday 30 August 2014.

Irish America Magazine twice named her one of the “Top 100 Irish Americans” and Chicago’s Irish American News has twice honoured her as “Irish Female Vocalist of the Decade.” A consummate entertainer, the Wall Street Journal calls her music “a revelation”.

Apart from her many musical collaborations, she has recorded five solo albums, the most recent being “Through Wind and Rain”. See http://www.cathieryan.com/ for more details.

This promises to be one of the most remarkable concerts held in North Clare in recent years. It starts at 8 pm, in Kilfenora Hall. Tickets have now SOLD OUT!


Munster Fleadh results 2014

Well done our competitors in this year’s Munster Fleadh. These are the results for Kilfenora CCE.

  • Eimear Howley coached the winning U12 Grupai Ceoil from Crusheen, her sister Tara came second in the senior uillean pipes.
  • Jessica Nea will go to the Fleadh Ceoil for the second year running, competing in U12 piano and accompaniment. She will be joined by Ada Kenny for her U12 Sean Nos dancing, and Laura Griffey playing her viola in the U12 Miscellaneous category.
  • Niamh Kennedy will also compete in Sean Nos dance (U15).

The U12 Inis Og ceili band, and the U15 and U18 Burren Ceili bands also go through to the finals, along with various friends from neighbouring Corofin CCE and Ennistymon CCE. Congratulations in particular to outright winners Conor O’Loughlin (U18 concertina) and Conor Arkins (senior fiddle slow airs) upholding their family traditions.

The full results can be downloaded as a PDF at http://www.munsterfleadh.ie/

Sunday’s Guinness world record attempt in Kilfenora

On 27 April, Kilfenora will stage its second attempt at the record for the world’s ‘Largest Irish Trad band’. Last year’s attempt was one BIG party! See the pictures at http://www.kilfenoraclare.com/events/largest-irish-trad-band-record-attempt/ – but 187 musicians wasn’t enough for Guinness – the goal is 250.

So everyone is invited to bring an instrument to Kilfenora’s Square and help Irish music add to its fame and achievements. This is what will happen.

  • All musicians joining us should begin registration at 13.00 – arrive earlier to get a good parking spot!
  • All ages can join in – from 9 (or less!) to 90 – and all abilities, from beginners to All-Ireland winners (there will be quite a few of those present)
  • There will be a practice run-through of the Kilfenora jig set – see the music and access a video clip at http://www.kilfenoraclare.com/news/2014/04/07/largest-traditional-irish-band-guinness-record-attempt-2014/
  • Then we briefly vacate our seats to exit and re-enter the playing area, so that the formal participant counting can take place (Guinness have strict rules!)
  • The fabulous Kilfenora Céilí Band will then lead us through the formal attempt at 14.30, after which the dance floor will be cleared for them to play for a free céilí (15.00-17.00)
  • If you forget an instrument there will be a supply of bargain tin whistles for sale at the Burren Centre, in the Square!
  • In the event of rain (the current weather forecast is good), we will transfer to Kilfenora Community Hall, 100 metres down Main Street.

There will be some great musicians joining us – including famous faces from the TG4 traditional music awards TV broadcast last Sunday – so come and join in with what will hopefully be an historic event. If you want, you can carry on the party at any of the music sessions in the village pubs.

Some more information can be found at http://www.largestirishband.ie/.

Kilfenora Square filled

Massed players

Massed players

Kilfenora & Clare All-Ireland results 2013

Congratulations to all our competitors at the Fleadh na hEireann in Derry.

Clare achieved a number of firsts in which Kilfenora’s Jessica Nea, Aine Griffey, Eva and Ada Kenny featured.

  • Inis Og U12 céilí band
  • Inis Og U18 céilí band
  • Burren U18 Music Group

Clare also achieved firsts in

  • Concertina – Lily O’Connor (U12)
  • Button accordion – Davan Livingstone (U12)
  • Piano – Catriona O’Gorman (U15)
  • Dancing – Rithim an Chlair U18 in both women’ and mixed set dancing
  • Miscellaneous instruments – Conor Arkins (U18) and Eimear Arkins (senior)
  • Singing in English – Eimear Arkins (also placed in senior lilting and composition)
  • Duets – Sorcha Costello, Aisling Hunt (U18)
  • Trios – Davan Livingstone, Letitia Browne, Tara O’Malley (U12)

Garry Shannon and the Meitheal Orchestra also provided a stunning performance during the Fleadh.

Don’t forget to listen to BBC Radio 4’s “The Fleadh goes North” on Friday 23 at 11 am (terrestial in UK, satellite/internet elsewhere). A description can be found at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/34/r4-w34-fleadh-goes-north-fri.html

This features Jessica Nea – who also came second in U12 accompaniment (piano) and fiddle slow airs – and Fergal Breen, who came second in U18 flute.

Click on Fleadh na hEireann Results 2013 to download all the details.

Kilfenora music on BBC Radio 4 on 23 August

BBC Radio 4 will feature interviews and recordings of two young Clare musicians competing in this year’s Fleadh Cheoil in Derry, in a broadcast at 11-11.30am on Friday 23 August.

One is Jessica Nea from Kilfenora – on piano accompaniment, fiddle and in both the U12 Inis Og céilí band and music group –  and the other we understand is Fergal Breen from Doora-Barefield, U18 flute, uilleann pipes and piano.

In Ireland, Radio 4 can best be heard on-line through the Internet, LW Radio 198Mhz or via Satellite (Sky etc).

A brief description of the programme, entitled ” The Fleadh goes North”, can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/34/r4-w34-fleadh-goes-north-fri.html

In the picture, Jessica is being recorded by co-producer Claire Burgoyne accompanied by her father Colin Nea, as can also be heard on Colin’s recent CD “Between the Jigs & the Reels”.

Good luck to all the Munster finalists from Kilfenora and Clare (including Tara Howley who came first in O18 uilleann pipes) who are travelling to Derry!JN BBC 6a