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Gathering from far and wide

THE tentacles of Irish music reach very far from its strongholds and people from around the world have made it to the narrow streets of Ennis for this week’s festivities. Many have strong roots in this county, such as Graham Killoughery, who grew up in London, the son of Mary and Tom Killoughery, who hail from Lissycasey and Ballyea respectively. Graham was in Lord of the Dance for six and a half years, while his sister, Shona, was also part of the show for several years. On Tuesday, he was really enjoying the sounds around the streets. “I’m a big fan of the music. Shona and myself danced when we were younger. Feis music would be a little bit different to trad but I’m actually a bigger fan of the trad music. It’s good to go around the pubs, meet up with some old friends from the dancing and listen to some more enjoyable tunes. Some of the dance music …

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Ennis hits high note for Minnesota mothers

AMONG the throng of overseas visitors to the Fleadh in Ennis this week were Laura Coleman and Alisa Mee from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Eleven of the group are staying in a house in Spanish Point for the duration of the Fleadh, while their children are among 18 musicians representing the Centre for Irish Music in the Mid-West US city. Laura’s son Finn plays the harp, much to the bemusement of his mother. She has yet to work out why but is going with the flow. “Our kids have been involved at the Centre for Irish Music for about three and a half years. It all started because our youngest son Finn woke up one day and decided that he had to play the harp. We don’t know why. The harp? It’s not our national instrument. There’s nothing iconic about the harp in Minnesota,” Laura explained. “It’s not a scene,” confirmed Alisa, whose son Cathal plays the button accordion. “We signed …

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Michael Flatley Opens Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

  The crowds came out in force again this year as Michael Flatley opened Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis for 2017. Ahead of playing a tune on flute, accompanied by his friend Ger Fahy, Michael Flatley told of his love for music and dance and commended the organisers for putting on another wonderful festival this year. He paid tribute to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann for all the work they do and for bringing music into his life. “Labhras Ó Murchú who was dear friends with my father, God rest his soul, brought music to Chicago when I was a young man and I can never say thank you enough. Thank you to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann because they brought that little ray of sunshine into our lives, they are the ones who got me started playing music. I’m sure most of you here would have benefitted in some way from that wonderful organisation,” he said.  Reflecting on his family, who encouraged …

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West inspires Dympna’s Soul Space

SOUL Space, an exhibition by Ennis-based artist Dympna Bonfield is going on show at Glór on Saturday, September 7 and will be there until October 26.

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Tulla tunes up for trad festival

THE Tulla Trad Festival will kick off on Friday, September 6 with a parade through the East Clare village by the Chapel Gate Wrenboys.

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Clare café tour for Luka

FOLK artist Luka Bloom is about to embark on a café tour of Clare, briefly crossing the border for a show in Gort.

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Lahinch gig for O’Rourke

KENNY’S Bar in Lahinch welcomes singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke this September for one night only. The Dublin-based artist will perform in the seaside resort on Thursday, September 12.

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Celebrating sea eagles in song

THE closing date is fast approaching for those looking to enter the Wings Over Mountshannon Song Competition, held in conjunction with the Mountshannon Traditional Music Festival, which takes place from September 27 to 29.

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