O’Carolan Harp Festival celebrates 24 years

Harpers and musicians are expected in large numbers in the picturesque village on Keadue, on the shores of Lough Meelagh, in Co Roscommon for the 34th O’Carolan Harp Festival which takes place from August 3- 6.

Harpers and musicians are expected in large numbers in the picturesque village on Keadue, on the shores of Lough Meelagh, in Co Roscommon for the 34th O’Carolan Harp Festival which takes place from August 3- 6.

The organising committee are most grateful for the support and funding received towards this year’s events from Roscommon Leader Partnership, Fáilte Ireland, the Arts Council, Arigna Fuels Limited, Rory Lynch Transport, and Roscommon VEC and from all of our donors and sponsors.

On Friday night, August 3 one of the highlights of the Festival will be the appearance of Tale of the Gael in concert in Keadue Church. On Saturday, the International Harp Competitions will take place. On Saturday afternoon, Mr Colm O’Meachair will host an interesting demonstration and talk on the making of the harp. Saturday night’s concert in Keadue Church should be a very special experience, when the Irish Youth Harp Orchestra will be performing, under the direction of leading harpist, Janet Harbison.

Another musical highlight and a special treat for visitors to the Summer School will be the Harp recital by Gráinne Hambley, Holly Geraghty and Dearbhail Finnegan which will take place in Kilronan Castle Hotel, located just over a mile from Keadue, on Wednesday night, August 1.

On August 5th, the official opening of the Festival takes place after the Festival parade led by Tempo Marching Band. Fianna Fail Deputy Éamon Ó’Cuiv will officially open the festival.

Timothy Terror, the amazing stickman from Australia, will be performing, on his first ever visit to the Festival. Immediately afterwards, there will be Traditional music sessions with Shebeen and Liam Purcell and friends, with guest appearance by Sean Nós ar tSionnann. Sunday night’s concert sees the return of Eleanor Shanley and De Dannan.

On Bank Holiday Monday, August 6 following a visit to the grave of Turlough O’Carolan in Kilronan cemetery and the laying of a wreath there, a lecture will take place in Kilronan Castle Hotel titled, Kilronan Through Time,.8000 BC- c. AD 1600 and will be given by Dr. Kieran O’Conor, Dept of Archaeology at NUI Galway. Taking place in St Ronan’s Hall on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, for the first time, is Family Fun Day with a Mad Hatter’s tea party, Magician and other fun activities. Musical entertainment in the afternoon will provide an opportunity to listen to medieval, folk and traditional music, performed by music group Nuada, on their debut visit to the Festival.

One of the most popular events at the Festival over the last 33 years, which is taking place on Bank Holiday Monday evening, is the Door Dancing Competition where traditional dancers dance on a door – now, it is known as Sean Nós Dancing.

Other groups and artists appearing at the Summer School and Festival include Derek Warefield and the Young Wolfe Tones, O’Carolan Country Ceili Band, Matt Cunningham and Eugene Murphy.

For the full programme see: www.ocarolanharpFestival.ie