Eileen O’Brien, Ann Conroy Burke, Mary Conroy and Deirdre McSherry

A feast of trad music

NYAH County Cavan Traditional Music Festival runs June 16-19

County Cavan will resound with the sound of traditional music as the NYAH County Cavan Traditional Music Festival gets underway.

The four day celebration of Irish Culture takes place from June 16-19. The event gathers together young and old for a festival of diversity, community, new horizons, shared spaces, safer communities, cultural expression and new friendships.

This Nyah County Cavan Traditional Music Festival is subtitled 'Not Your Average Hooley' as it brings together of some of the finest exponents of traditional music, song, and dance.

Commencing at the Drumlane Bar, Milltown on Thursday, June 16 the following three days will fill the senses. Milltown village hosts the opening session with Martin Donohoe on accordion and Seamus on songs and guitar.

On Friday, June 17 the programme continues with the County Cavan Schools Workshops. Later that evening, at 8pm, the NYAH Jig of Life awards concert is held in The Farnham Arms Hotel. This concert will feature Seainin McDonagh (accordion) and Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha (flute), Eileen O'Brien (fiddle), Ann Conroy-Burke (accordion), Deirdre McSherry (flute / keyboard), Mary Conroy (guitar / singer), Frank Kelly (fiddle), Rita Gallagher (singer), John Carty (banjo / fiddle), James Carty (fiddle), Len Graham (singer), Gabriel McArdle (singer / concertina), Cathal Lynch (singer), Francis Gaffney (guitar), Antóin MacGabhann (fiddle), Fintan McManus (bouzouki), and Martin Donohoe (accordion). Members of the NYAH CCE group will also perform in this Farnham Arms Hotel concert. Tickets costing €15 are available from the hotel or at the door and can be booked on: 086 817 3153.

At 10pm there will be a open session in Percy's Bar, Cavan.

On Saturday, June 18 there will be a one-to-one Masterclasses in music and song from 10am – 2pm. Classes cane be booked on 086 234 2270.

That day at 12 noon Townhall Street is the location of live music with Elena Duff and Mugs group, Karen McMahon and friends, Karina Charles, and the Rafal Szydlowsky band. That evening at 8pm there is a radio show festival special on Northern Sound.

Sunday’s entertainment

On Sunday, June 19 the programme recommences at 10am with another one-to-one Masterclasses in Music & Song. This class runs to 2pm and bookings can be made on 086 234 2270.

At 12 noon Townhall Street live music is by Paul Jermyn, Martin Donohoe, Karina Charles, Rafal Szydlowsky band and Elena Duff & Mugs group.

Then at 3pm in the Farnham Arms Hotel the Nyah Showcase afternoon of traditional and multicultural folk will see members of 4C - Darren Breslin (accordion) and Fintan McManus (guitar) performing. Linaskea native Darren is the 2008 All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil winner, and has become a Comhaltas favourite at fleadhs everywhere.

The Nyah Showcase will also see the return of Cavan's Luke Ward to launch his band's CD From the Devil’s Punchbowl.

Luke Ward has been a busy and in-demand musician on the Irish music scene for many years, notably since the 2005 release of the album Clan Ranald with Donegal accordionist, Martin Tourish. Luke has toured the world over including the US, Canada, Australia and all over Europe. Bouzouki player Luke will be joined by bandmates Aaron O’Hagan (uilleann pipes and wooden flutes) and Brendan Mulholland (flute).

Since its inception in 1999 The Nyah Festival of Tradition has provided an ambitious programme of music and song to development the traditional arts in Cavan.


Martin Donohoe said its continued success is down to the support they have received:

“A sincere word of thanks to all our local sponsors and volunteers. The supported of The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon FIS Scheme has been vitally important as has that of Catriona O'Reilly, Cavan Arts Office, Cavan County Council, Comhaltas Dublin, Labhrás Ó Murchú, Shannonside-Northern Sound Radio, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, McQuaid Opticians, Farnham Arms Hotel Cavan. Our kind American friends Mary and Rich, Farnham Arms Hotel, Backyard Arts Centre, Lynchprint Drumalee, Sherdians Insurance College St and the Comhaltas Seisiun Fund."

More details of the festival are available on the County Cavan Nyah Facebook page and www.cavanarts.ie