Feile Patrick Byrne 2018

Feile Patrick Byrne 2018

feile patrick byrne logo

Welcome to Féile Patrick Byrne 2018, an Irish traditional music festival held annually on the Palm Sunday weekend in and around Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Organised by the Carrickmacross branch of Comhaltas, the event honours the Farney harper Patrick Byrne (c.1794-1863) who was the first Irish traditional musician ever photographed. The féile has been running since 2007 and aims to showcase the best of traditional music and dance with concerts, workshops, sessions, a lecture and céilí.

This year, the celtic music of Brittany will feature prominently with the visit of a 27 strong group from the Ecole de Musique du Poher. The group are from Carhaix, the town in Brittany which is twinned with Carrickmacross. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience and learn Breton traditional music and dance as the group will both perform and teach during the féile weekend.

We are also delighted to announce that Gerry O’Connor has taken on the role of festival patron for this year’s Féile Patrick Byrne. One of the outstanding fiddle players of his generation, Gerry is also an authority on the music of the region and we are thrilled to have his help and support.

View Féile Patrick Byrne Promotion video here

Sunday 18th March


Féile Patrick Byrne in association with Laragh Heritage and Aughnamullen CCÉ will hold a music session in St. Peter’s Tin Church. Constructed entirely out of corrugated iron in a Swiss-Gothic style, this session promises to be a very special event.

3pm – The Tin Church, Laragh, Broomfield, Co. Monaghan, adm. free and all welcome.

Thursday 22nd March



Official opening and the annual Patrick Byrne Lecture.
Noted Kavanagh scholar Art Agnew will deliver this year’s talk, ‘Raising Hearts, Not Eyebrows’. Art’s dramatic monologue will explore the influences which shaped Kavanagh’s poetry. A must for anyone interested in Kavanagh and local cultural history.
The Shirley Arms, 8pm – adm. free.


Friday 23rd March


Music Session with Gerry O’Connor



McNally’s, Carrickmacross, adm. free and all welcome.

Saturday 24th March

10.30am – 1pm

2pm – 4.30pm

Music Workshops

The Carrickmacross Workhouse will again host the workshops. There will be classes from 10:30am to 1pm and again from 2pm to 4:30pm. Registration in the half hour before workshop commences. Morning workshops €5 and afternoon €10. The Fun Trad class is aimed at younger students who would not be ready for regular workshops. The emphasis is on having fun with music. The Comhrá Gaeilge is aimed at those preparing for state exams.

Places for workshops are limited to 15 per class. To reserve a place, send an email to with your name, address, contact telephone.

Morning classes 10:30am to 1pm
Comhrá Gaeilge
Fun Trad (Seán Walsh).
Introduction to Breton traditional music
Introduction to Irish traditional music

Afternoon classes 2pm to 4:30pm
Fiddle (Niall Murphy); Accordion (Dónal Murphy); Harp (Eilis Lavelle) and Bodhrán (René de Kat).



Heritage Walk

Historian Charles Barker will guide walkers around Carrickmacross and bring alive the vibrant history of the town. The tour takes approximately 90 minutes and walkers should comfortable shoes and perhaps bring an umbrella!
11 am – meet at the front of the Courthouse / Shirley Arms Hotel.



Trad for teens music session

The Youth Officers of both Carrickmacross Comhaltas and County Monaghan Comhaltas have organised a music session specially for teenage musicians.
5pm – McNally’s, Carrickmacross.


Breaking Trad in concert with support from the Ecole de Musique du Poher

Expect high-energy and driving music that WILL make you want to dance, some iconic Irish songs and bags and bags of fun. Breaking Trad consist of award-winning players Dónal Murphy (accordion), Niall Murphy (fiddle) and Mike Galvin (Guitar/Vocals) and they play Irish music that is “dazzling”, “high octane”, “unorthodox and unique”. This powerhouse trio are reviving traditional Irish music with a fresh and modern twist. Not to be missed!
8pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall – adm €15 adults / under 18s €5 at door.



Music Session

Markey’s, Carrickmacross.

Sunday 25th March

12am – 2pm

Sean Nós Dance Workshop

Tutor: Gerard Butler. This class is suitable for both beginners and improvers.
Workshop fee €10.
Noon to 2pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall, Carrickmacross


3pm – 6pm

Sets Céilí with the Salamanca Céilí Band

The Salamanca play music of a deadly standard that will make you move in ways you thought wasn’t possible. Made up of David Doocey, Stephen Doherty, Brona Graham, Jim Corry and Gerard Butler, this is a musical partnership that is hard beaten. “You will lose yourself in the music of this great band.” The sets will be called and refreshments served. Under 18s free.

The sets will be called and refreshments served. Adm €10.
3pm to 6pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall, Carrickmacross


Recital with Gerry O’Connor, Eilis Lavelle and Pádraig McGovern

Master fiddle player Gerry O’Connor will be joined by Eilis Lavelle on harp and Pádraig McGovern on uilleann pipes for an intimate recital in the atmospheric setting of the Carrickmacross Workhouse. This trio of superb musicians will concentrate on music from the Oriel region in what promises to be special evening.
8pm – The Workhouse, Carrickmacross – adm. €5

Monday 26th March

10.30am – 1pm

Breton and Irish traditional workshops and concert

The Community Centre in Corduff will host these workshops and concert. There will be classes from 10:30am to 1pm and again from 2pm to 4:30pm. While there is no charge for these workshops we still ask that participants register at 10am. These classes will cover both Breton and Irish traditions with the aim that by the evening the combined group of Irish and Breton students will be able to perform a joint performance of music and dance covering the traditions of both countries. An evening meal for participants will be provided and the concert will start at 7.30pm.

Places for workshops are limited so to reserve a place please send an email to with your name, address, contact telephone and workshop you want to attend and we will contact you back shortly.

 10.30am to 4.30pm

The Corduff & Raferagh Community Centre, Corduff


Concert, Céilí and Fest Noz with Carrickmacross CCÉ and the Ecole de Musique du Poher
The Corduff & Raferagh Community Centre, Corduff, 7.30pm.


BreakingTrad“There’s an unfettered quality to the music of Breaking Trad that would surely appeal to Walter White’s wayward sensibilities…” THE IRISH TIMES

Carrickmacross Comhaltas / Féile Patrick Byrne would like to thank our funders and supporters for their generous help in making the festival possible:
the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon; Monaghan County Council Arts Office; the Carrickmacross & Castleblayney Municipal District Council and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Meitheal programme supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gealtacht.

We would also like to thank the community organisations who have made our event possible: Laragh Heritage, Farney Community Development Group, St. Louis Secondary School and the Corduff & Raferagh Community Association. Finally we wish to thank the pubs who have sponsored our music sessions, Markey’s and McNally’s. We would ask you to support these pubs as they have supported the Féile Patrick Byrne.

Further details on Facebook and Email Text 087 2396665.








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