DSC_1276~2This year’s Féile Patrick Byrne festival in Carrickmacross was launched by the Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, T.D. It will take place from Wednesday 25th March to Sunday 29th March at various venues around the town.  The opening event on Wednesday 25th March is a free concert at St Finbarr’s Church with Zoë Conway and John McIntyre.



Traditional music group Goitse will be in concert on Saturday 28th March at the Convent Hall in Carrickmacross as the headline act in this year’s Féile Patrick Byrne. Tickets are €10 and are available in advance from any committee member or from Birdy’s Newsagent in Carrickmacross. Alternatively, tickets will be available on the door.

The workshops this year will be led by Deirdre Granville on Harp, Áine McGeeney on Fiddle & Seán McElwain from Ballinode. Seán will be teaching music from the Whiteside and Bogue music manuscripts. Also this year Seán McCague from Scotstown will hold Irish language workshops aimed at Leaving Certificate students who want to brush up on their oral Irish before their exam in April.

Special guests this year will include Goitse, Zoë Conway & John McIntyre, Seán McElwain & Donál McCague. There will be a Sets Ceilí with Rise the Dust on Sunday in The Convent Hall. The Festival will kick off at 7.30pm on Wednesday 25th with a free recital by Zoë Conway & John McIntyre in St. Finbarr’s Church of Ireland church, Main Street, Carrickmacross. The recital will be followed by the first of the Féile session trails in nearby Markey’s; all musicians welcome.

Thursday night sees the return of the Féile Patrick Byrne Lecture. This year’s topic on ‘Local Folklore’ will be given by Seámus MacGabhain. The talk will be held in the Shirley Arms Hotel at 8pm and admission is free. Also on Thursday night, for the first time at the festival, there will be a singing session. This will be held in McNally’s Lounge, Main Street, at 8pm and will feature Patricia Flynn, Pádraigin Ni Uallacháin and Len Graham from County Armagh. So if you like to sing some traditional songs come along and join in; admission is free.

Friday night is Our Dear Dark Mountain Concert with Seán McElwain & Donál McCague and Carrickmacross CCÉ musicians. Seán and Donál will be performing re-discovered Monaghan music from the unpublished late 19th/early 20th century Whiteside and Bogue manuscripts. They will be supported by local musicians and The Élan Trio. The concert will take place in the Corduff/Raferagh Community Centre at 8.00pm and admission is €5.

We are delighted to have an Art Demonstration by Chris McMorrow on Saturday in the Market House followed by a master class in still life with Deirdre Shanny. For further information and to book, contact Kate Beagan on kate.beagan@gmail.com. There will also be an art and photographic exhibition in the Market House which will include art by Kate & photographs by local photographer Pat Byrne.

Also on Saturday the Music and Irish Language workshops will be held in the Carrickmacross Workhouse, registration at10am.
On Sunday there will be a Sean Nós Dance Workshop in the Convent Hall with tutor, Sharlene McCaffery. Music sessions will be held every night, venues include The Mountain Dew – Corduff, Markey’s, The Shirley Arms Hotel, John Joe Cunningham’s, McNally’s & The Valley Lodge. During the festival there will be a session trail throughout the town:
Wednesday 25th March
9:30pm – 11pm Traditional Session at Markey’s, Main Street.
Thursday 26th March
8pm – 11pm Singing Session at McNally’s, Main Street.
Friday 27th March –
10pm – 11:30pm Traditional Session at Cunningham’s Loft, Main Street, and The Mountain Dew, Corduff/Raferagh Community Centre, Corduff.
Saturday 28th March
10pm – 11:30pm Traditional Session at The Valley Lodge, O’Neill Street, Carrickmacross & Markey’s, Main Street.
Sunday 29th March
6:30pm – 8:30pm Family Session at The Shirley Arms Hotel, Main Street.
8pm – 10:30pm Traditional Session at McNally’s, Main Street.
For further information, to book tickets or a workshop please email patrickbyrnefestival@gmail.com or ring 087 2396665. You can also check http://www.carrickmacross.ie/feilepatrickbyrne for the programme of events.


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