Trad treat packs Killarney for festival

KILLARNEY was the trad music and culture capital of the country throughout the weekend and the town was packed for The Gathering Traditional Music Festival which is now firmly established as one of the premier events of its kind in the country.

The five-day festival, now in its 20th year, included rousing concerts, packed ceilí dancing sessions, instrument masterclasses, set dance and sean nós workshops, numerous free music sessions, a full education programme and so much more.

Headquartered at the Gleneagle Hotel and the INEC, it attracted Irish culture enthusiasts from across the US, Britain, Europe and Ireland.

Topping the concert bill for 2019 were trad supergroup Altan, as well as Mike McGoldrick, John Doyle and John McCusker, Dordán, Paddy Keenan, Frankie Gavin and Dermot Byrne and The Bonny Men.

Ann Mangan leading one of her set dancing workshops

The hugely popular Gathering céilís returned to the Gleneagle Hotel ballroom and included performances by Neily O’Connor, Uí Bhriain, Eddie Lee, Striolán Céilí Band, The Kilfenora Céilí Band and the Johnny Reidy Céilí Band.

A special tribute concert to the music of Clare and Sliabh Luachra included performances by the Lawnhawns featuring Andrew McNamara, The Conifers and The Sliabh Luachra Band with Paudie O’Connor, Gatehouse, Jackie Daly, Matt Cranitch and Paul De Grae.

The traditional singers’ concert featured Róisín Ryan, Meatí Jo Sheamuis, Séan Garvey, Pat Sullivan, Richie Fitzgerald, Tom McKenna, Christy Cronin, Jim Walsh, Marion and Kathleen McCann.

New to the 2019 festival programme, Des Dillion brought his children’s puppet workshop which was perfect for children of all ages and definitely a hands-on experience.

Instrument masterclasses were hosted by Mary McNamara, Mary Bergin, Killarney’s own Niamh Ní Charra, Bryan O’Leary and Andrew McNamara.

Pictures from The Gathering: Valerie O’Sullivan. Click on individual images for details

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