11 April 2019 17:00 – 14 April 2019 23:00
Location: Carrickmacross Town, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Ireland

FEILE PATRICK BYRNE - Irish Traditional Arts Festival

Dates: 11 - 14 April

Venue: Carrickmacross Town

Féile Patrick Byrne 2019





Thursday 11th April

Official opening and the annual Patrick Byrne Lecture.

The Shirley Arms, 8pm - adm. free.

Sylvia Crawford, a noted exponent of the Historical Irish Harp, will deliver this year’s talk, ‘Patrick Byrne’s place in the old Irish harp tradition’. Sylvia will also play some tunes associated with Patrick Byrne as part of the talk using a wire strung harp of the type which he played. A must for anyone interested in local cultural history and the Irish harp tradition.

Friday 12th April

Recital with Gerry O’Connor

8pm - St. Finbarr’s Church, Carrickmacross - adm. €10

Late last year fiddle player Gerry O’Connor released his second solo album ‘Last Night’s Joy’. It was widely regarded as one of the finest traditional music albums of 2018, earning rave reviews. Gerry will give an intimate solo performance of this music which is mainly drawn from the local region. A brilliant opportunity to sample local music up close from a master musician at the peak of his powers.

Music Session with Gerry O’Connor

10pm - McNally's, adm. free and all welcome.

Saturday 13th April

Music Workshops

10am to 1pm - The Workhouse

Harp with Aonghus Rooney - suitable for players with 3 or more years’ experience.

Easy Whistle with Kevin Sewell - suitable for novice musicians of all ages.

Bi-lingual Singing Workshop with Aoife Ní Rhoideáin - suitable for novice singers of all ages.

Fun Trad with Seán Walsh and Sinéad Finnegan - a class aimed at younger students who would not be ready for regular workshops. The emphasis is on having fun with music.

Registration will be from 9.15am and class cost is €10. Places for workshops are limited to 15 per class. To reserve a place, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, age (if under 18) and contact telephone.

Heritage Walk

11 am - meet at the front of the Courthouse / Shirley Arms Hotel.

Historian Charles Barker will guide walkers around Carrickmacross and bring alive the vibrant history of the town. The tour takes approximately 90 minutes and walkers should wear comfortable shoes and perhaps bring an umbrella!

Master Classes

2pm to 5pm - The Workhouse

Fiddle (Gerry O’Connor); Accordion (Mairtín O’Connor); Banjo (Cathal Hayden) and Guitar (Seamie O’Dowd).

Registration will be from 1.15pm and master class cost is €15. All master classes are for players with 3 or more years’ experience. To reserve a place, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Abair Amhrán

4pm to 6pm - Markey’s - adm. free.

A dedicated bi-lingual singing session with all singers welcome.


5.30pm to 7.30pm - McNally’s - adm. free.

Open youth trad session organised by the Carrickmacross CCÉ Youth Officers with all teen musicians welcome. No speed limits! 

The Mairtín O’Connor Band in concert

8pm - St. Louis Secondary School Hall – adm. €15 adults / under 18s €5.

Since 2001 Máirtín O’Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd have been steadily evolving into a cohesive musical entity. Each are individually recognised as master musicians with astounding skill, diversity and virtuosity. Together they produce a vibrant and musically charged experience that redefines one’s concept of brilliance, verging on perfection. If this musical powerhouse does not get you to your feet, nothing will.

Music Session

10:30pm ‘till late - Markey's.

Sunday 14th April

Sean Nós Dance Workshop

Noon to 2pm - St. Louis Secondary School Hall, Carrickmacross

Ulster sean nós champion Aoife McCabe will lead this class which is suitable for both beginners and improvers. Wear comfortable shoes. Workshop fee €10. 

Sets Céilí with the Salamanca Céilí Band

3pm to 6pm - St. Louis Secondary School Hall - Adm. €10.

The Salamanca play music of a deadly standard that will make you move in ways you thought wasn’t possible.  Made up of David Doocey, Stephen Doherty, Brona Graham, Jim Corry and Gerard Butler, this is a musical partnership that is hard beaten. "You will lose yourself in the music of this great band." The sets will be called and refreshments served. 

Reel Slow

6.30pm to 8.30pm - Markey’s - adm. free.

A dedicated slow session suitable for novice and improver musicians hosted by the local adult slow session group and led by fiddle player Noreen McManus. Speed limits apply but all are welcome. 

Survivors Session

9pm ‘till late - McNally’s - adm. free.

Final open music session of the féile with all musicians, singers and dancers welcome. Hup!

The Mairtin O’Connor Band, Gerry ‘fiddle’ O’Connor and the Salamanca Céilí Band are among the confirmed artists for this year’s Féile Patrick Byrne in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Organised since 2007 by the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the féile honours the local 19th century harper Patrick Byrne who was the first Irish traditional musician ever photographed. The Mairtín O’Connor Band – Mairtín with Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd - top the bill. All master musicians, together they produce music of astounding virtuosity.  Their vibrant sound has been described as verging on perfection and redefining one’s concept of brilliance. Genuinely, their concert on 13 April can be rated as one not to be missed. Returning to the féile this year is legendary fiddle player Gerry O’Connor. Gerry will both teach and perform at the féile, giving audiences a perfect opportunity to sample the rich Oriel music tradition showcased on his latest album, Last Night’s Joy, and book, The Rose in the Gap. A must for all fiddle fans. Dancers will be well catered for with champion dancer Aoife McCabe giving a sean nós dance workshop, followed by the sets céilí with The Salamanca. For those who want to take it easier, there will be music sessions, a singing session plus heritage events. Carrickmacross Comhaltas / Féile Patrick Byrne would like to thank our funders, the Arts Council, Monaghan County Council, the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and the Comhaltas Meitheal Programme for their support. Further details on Facebook and www.carrickmacross.ie/feilepatrickbyrne