03 Jul 2022

The John McKenna Festival makes welcome return to Drumkeerin this weekend

June 9-12

The John McKenna Festival makes welcome return to Drumkeerin this weekend

John McKenna Festival this weekend

It is wonderful to be back after an absence of 2 years. We are looking forward to seeing many old friends again.

Thursday, 9th June
The opening event is on Thursday, 9th June in Frank Davitt’s pub at 8.00pm with the Leitrim Balaclavas Adult Improvers Session.

Friday, 10th June
On Friday 10th we have the festival concert featuring Liam Kelly, Kevin Brehony, Dylan Carlos, Céin Sweeney, John McCartin and Patrick Hugh Kelly at 9.00 in the community centre.

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Saturday, 11th June
A busy day with many events planned. ‘Budding Melodies’ music composition workshop with Dave Sheridan, Padraig McGovern and Catherine McEvoy in the community centre 10.00am to 1.00pm. Session at the cottage with Michael O'Brien at 5.00pm. Also at 5.00pm, in Frank Davitt’s bar, the singing session with Jackie Boyce and the Co. Down singing circle, special guest Rita Gallagher. We finish the day with a Céilí Mór in the community centre at 9.00 with music by the Innisfree Céilí band.

Sunday, 12th June
On Sunday, 12th June we have Aifreann an Fhéile in Tarmon at 12.00pm, followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the monument and then it’s up to the John McKenna homestead, in Tents, for more tunes.
Our closing event is at 5.00pm in the Community Centre. This will be a very unique and special event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the festival. 3 local musicians/composers have been commissioned to write 6 new pieces of music dedicated to the memory of John McKenna.

The commissioned composers are Dave Sheridan, Lorraine Sweeney and Fiachra Guihen. They will each perform their newly composed pieces of music, in public, for the first time. On this occasion Fiachra will be accompanied by his uncle Tommy Guihen. Another feature of this event will be the showing of a short film, made by Johnny Gogan, of the composers at various locations in the area.

There will be traditional music sessions in Rooney’s Cosy Corner, Frank Davitt’s pub, Forde’s Inn and Wynne’s Market bar at various times over the weekend.
We hope that everyone will find something to entertain them. It would be wonderful to see a resemblance of normality restored after the last 2 years.
We wish to acknowledge the support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media and also Leitrim County Council under the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme 2022.

For more information go to or call 086 856 9900.

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