4 Men and a Dog, Mairtin O’Conor Trio, and Martin Donohoe on accordion, finish up the sold-out concert at Town Hall Cavan on Saturday, March 23. Photo: Tinko Tinev Cavan Media Photography

Nyah festival a huge hit

Awards galore were handed out to some of the country’s finest trditional musicians at this year’s NYAH Festival of Traditional Music.

NYAH is the oldest festival of traditional music in County Cavan and since its inception in 1999 has programmed artists of excellence and distinction. This year was held from March 19-24 and hosted events throughout Counties Cavan, Longford and Fermanagh.

Full house signs were had in Cootehill, Aughakillymaude’s Mummers Centre, Farnham Arms Hotel, Cootehill, Belturbet & Town Hall Cavan. Highlights included a Ukrainian and Irish evening of song and music with RTE television, Ukrainian accordion master Sergiy Balan and friends joining NYAH musicians to sing, dance and share tunes.

The late Darren Maloney, Killygarry banjo master was remembered with over 25 artists performing in the Farnham Arms. The 87 years young Benny Maloney sang, danced and played bodhran. Meanwhile 80 years young Cathal McConnell travelled from Edinburgh, Scotland to receive his award from Eamon McGivney, Longford fiddler and one of the Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy directors. Four Men and a Dog band and Mairtin Ó Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie Ó Dowd had the sold out Town Hall audience on their feet with Martin Donohoe Cavan accordionist joining them on stage.

The NYAH Jig of Life Awards were presented to Cathal Hayden Tyrone fiddler, Cathal McConnell singer and musician from Fermanagh and Galway accordion player Mairtin Ó Connor.

NYAH Festival is supported by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon FIS Scheme, Cavan Co Council Arts Office, Mary and Rich Brautigam, Sheridan Insurance College St Cavan, Widows Bar, Ramblin’ House and Farnham Arms Hotel.

The festival is committed to two of the core priorities of Cavan County Council and the Arts Council in the Framework Agreement, supporting professional artists and ensuring that more people have access to quality arts provision locally.

Every Sunday 3pm NYAH CCE session is held in Farnham Arms Hotel Cavan and all welcome to join and share the Living Culture. See www.cavanmusic.org for more.