Welcome to Féile Patrick Byrne 2019, 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.
We are delighted that Gerry O’Connor has again taken on the role of festival patron. 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
Thursday 11th April
Official opening and the annual Patrick Byrne Lecture.
The Shirley Arms, 8pm – adm. free.
Sylvia Crawford, a noted exponent of the Historical Irish Harp, will deliver this year’s talk, ‘Patrick Byrne’s place in the old Irish harp tradition’. Sylvia will also play some tunes associated with Patrick Byrne as part of the talk using a wire strung harp of the type which he played. A must for anyone interested in local cultural history and the Irish harp tradition.
Friday 12th April
Recital with Gerry O’Connor
8pm – St. Finbarr’s Church, Carrickmacross – adm. €10
Late last year fiddle player Gerry O’Connor released his second solo album ‘Last Night’s Joy’. It was widely regarded as one of the finest traditional music albums of 2018, earning rave reviews. Gerry will give an intimate solo performance of this music which is mainly drawn from the local region. A brilliant opportunity to sample local music up close from a master musician at the peak of his powers.
Music Session with Gerry O’Connor
10pm – McNally’s, adm. free and all welcome.
Saturday 13th April
10am to 1pm – The Workhouse
- Harp with Aonghus Rooney – suitable for players with 3 or more years’ experience.
- Easy Whistle with Kevin Sewell – suitable for novice musicians of all ages.
- Bi-lingual Singing Workshop with Aoife Ní Rhoideáin – suitable for novice singers of all ages.
- Fun Trad with Seán Walsh and Sinéad Finnegan – a class aimed at younger students who would not be ready for regular workshops. The emphasis is on having fun with music.
Registration will be from 9.15am and class cost is €10. Places for workshops are limited to 15 per class. To reserve a place, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, age (if under 18) and contact telephone.
11 am – meet at the front of the Courthouse / Shirley Arms Hotel.
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 wear comfortable shoes and perhaps bring an umbrella!
2pm to 5pm – The Workhouse
Fiddle (Gerry O’Connor); Accordion (Mairtín O’Connor); Banjo (Cathal Hayden) and Guitar (Seamie O’Dowd).
Registration will be from 1.15pm and master class cost is €15. All master classes are for players with 3 or more years’ experience. To reserve a place, please send an email to email@example.com.
4pm to 6pm – Markey’s – adm. free.
A dedicated bi-lingual singing session with all singers welcome.
5.30pm to 7.30pm – McNally’s – adm. free.
Open youth trad session organised by the Carrickmacross CCÉ Youth Officers with all teen musicians welcome. No speed limits!
The Mairtín O’Connor Band in concert with support from Grúpa Cheoil Turas
8pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall – adm. €15 adults / under 18s €5.
Since 2001 Máirtín O’Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd have been steadily evolving into a cohesive musical entity. Each are individually recognised as master musicians with astounding skill, diversity and virtuosity. Together they produce a vibrant and musically charged experience that redefines one’s concept of brilliance, verging on perfection. If this musical powerhouse does not get you to your feet, nothing will.
10:30pm ‘till late – Markey’s.
Sunday 14th April
Sean Nós Dance Workshop
Noon to 2pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall, Carrickmacross
Ulster sean nós champion Aoife McCabe will lead this class which is suitable for both beginners and improvers. Wear comfortable shoes. Workshop fee €10.
Sets Céilí with the Salamanca Céilí Band
3pm to 6pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall – Adm. €10.
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.
6.30pm to 8.30pm – Markey’s – adm. free.
A dedicated slow session suitable for novice and improver musicians hosted by the local adult slow session group and led by fiddle player Noreen McManus. Speed limits apply but all are welcome.
9pm ‘till late – McNally’s – adm. free.
Final open music session of the féile with all musicians, singers and dancers welcome. Hup!
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: Farney Community Development Group, St. Louis Secondary School and the Carrickmacross Select Vestry.
Finally we wish to thank the Shirley Arms Hotel for their support plus Markey’s and McNally’s pubs who have sponsored our music sessions. We would ask you to support them as they have supported the Féile Patrick Byrne.
Further details on Facebook
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Text 087 2396665.