Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland.
Friday, May 1st-Monday, May 4th 1998.

The purpose of this intensive course is to celebrate three streams of Irish folk tradition; storytelling, material and musical culture (including dance), with equal emphasis. Classes are held mornings and afternoons, giving tuition in the minimum amount of time.
Beidh an dian-cúrsa seo tiomnaithe do scrúdú ar bhéaloideas na hÉireann. Beidh saineolaithe le scéalaíocht, ceol, damhsa agus cultúr ábhartha i láthair le haghaidh ranganna agus léachtaí a thabhairt.

Friday, May 1st
Claremont Hotel. 8.00 pm Reception and Official Opening by Joe McDonagh, President of G.A.A.

Aberdeen Arms Hotel 8.30 pm Seminar: The Sporting Life & Irish Tradition
Speakers: Joe McDonagh, President of G.A.A.: The G.A.A. and its role in Irish culture.
Jimmy Smith: Sporting Songs.
Paul Rouse: Dept. of History, U. C.D.: Sport and the Parish

Saturday, May 2nd.

All classes: 11.00 am to 1.00 pm & 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Atlantic Hotel
Traditional Singing and Storytelling in Irish Tradition: Éamonn Ó Bróithe and Dr. Patricia Lysaght
Two eminent scholars in the field of oral tradition in Ireland combine their skills to present a comprehensive introduction to the background and repertoire of the Irish storyteller and singer. Dr. Lysaght will discuss tales of any European country. They have provided entertainment and learning for countless generations. What they consist of, who told them and why, are all matters to be covered. A fine uilleann piper and a magnificent sean-nós (traditional) singer, Éamonn Ó Bróithe will examine the songs sung in Ireland, outline their many different forms and styles and introduce the stunning beauty of their poetry. Though many of the songs and stories under discussion will be from the Irish language tradition, explanation in English will be provided throughout.

Board Room, Aberdeen Arms Hotel.
Folk and Farm: Irish Folk Life: Dr. Jonathan Bell, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
With his vast knowledge of life throughout the entire island of Ireland, Dr. Bell examines the myriad traditions which bind and divide us in the things we do. How Irish country people live and work, the tools they use, their methods of farming, the buildings they construct and social interchange are all grist to our ethnic mill. Using archive and more recent material a great deal of the very colourful and fascinating aspects of Irish folk life are illustrated with slides and video.

Aberdeen Arms Hotel.
The Gaelic Heritage of County Clare. Máirtín Ó Bríain, Department of Modern Irish, University College, Galway.
Clare has a long and distinguished history of oral and written literature in Irish. Dr. Ó Bríain will examine the record from bardic times through the poetry of the middle ages, later writers like the MacCruitíns and the wayward genius of Brian Merriman. All levels of students are welcome, with or without a knowledge of Irish.

Claremont Hotel.
Eileen O’Doherty and Gerry O’Reilly of Brooks Academy

For I spent three weeks at Brooks’ Academy
Learning new steps for Lanigan’s Ball.

Teaching methods have been streamlined since the above was written in the last century and Brooks’ Academy can now equip you for the ball after only one short weekend in Lahinch. At the forefront of the Set Dance Revival since it began in the 1970’s the teachers of Brooks’’ Academy have studied and taught sets from every corner of Ireland and throughout the world.

National School.
Instrumental classes: Fiddle: John Kelly. Tin whistle: Bríd O’ Donohue.
Courses in instrumental music will consist of no more than ten pupils in each class in order to insure maximum benefit for the students. Some prior competence in their instruments is expected from the pupils.

Aberdeen Arms Hotel
8.00pm Lecture: The Plough and the Furrow. The farm horse in Irish life and lore. Dr. Mervyn Watson, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

Aberdeen Arms Hotel
11.00 pm Set Dance Céilídh with Taylor’s Cross Cèilì Band.

Sunday, May 3rd.

All classes: 11.00 am to 1.00 pm & 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Aberdeen Arms Hotel
8.00 pm Concert: Joe Burke and Ann Conroy Burke, John Campbell, Storyteller; Armagh. John Kelly, fiddle, Willbrook singers and many more.
Admission £5.00 to those not registered with the school.

Aberdeen Arms Hotel
11.00 pm Set Dance Céilídh with Taylor’s Cross Céilídh Band.

Monday, May 4th.

SCATTERIN’ DAY. All Classes, 11am-12.30pm.
Informal music sessions for the rest of the day.


Joe McDonagh, President of G.A.A. Orator, Celtic scholar, singer, hurling captain, raconteur, broadcaster, teacher, Gaeilgoer, administrator and leader, he now brings these eclectic qualities to his new role as Uachtarán, Cumann Luthchleas Gael.

Jimmy Smith. From Ruan, Jimmy is a former Clare and Munster hurling star who played for Clare for no less than 23 years. A fine singer himself, he has collected hundreds of sporting songs.

Paul Rouse, Dept. of Modern History, U.C.D. has studied the role of the G.A.A. and its influence on the public since its inception. His MA thesis concerned itself with the late ban on G.AA members attending foreign games which was a point of controversy for many years.

Dr. Patricia Lysaght, Department of Irish Folklore, U.C.D. A native of Mullagh, Co. Clare, Dr. Lysaght is another frequent contributor to the school. She has published extensively on Irish folk life and is author of the definitive work on the banshee.

Dr. Jonathan Bell, Acting Head, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, with the school since its inception, Dr. Bell. gives a very wide-ranging course on all aspects of material culture, past and present.

Éamonn Ó Bróithe, uilleann piper and sean-nós singer with a wide knowledge of Irish song tradition and a particular passion for the songs of the Déise and the poets of the 18th century.

Dr. Mairtín Ó Brian, lecturer in Irish with the Dept. of Modern Irish, University College, Galway. This year, Mairtín introduces aspects of the manuscript tradition of Clare.

Eileen O’Doherty and Gerry O’Reilly are both long-time teachers with the Dublin-based Brookes Academy of Set Dancing, a body which has been involved with the current revival of interest in setdancing from its beginning and has been in no small way, responsible for initiating it.

John Campbell. John’s stories are invariably hilarious and all are based firmly in the tradition of his native Mullaghbawn, Co. Armagh. John has been to most corners of the English-speaking world to tell his stories.

Bríd O’Donohue, teacher of whistle. Also accomplished on the flute, Bríd has absorbed the musical traditions of the village of Quilty where she grew up. Bríd is one of the most experienced teachers of music in Clare. John Kelly, teacher of fiddle. John is from the famous musical family led by his father, the late John Kelly of Rehy, Loop Head and a seminal figure in Irish traditional music in Clare.

Mervyn Watson, Ulster Folk and Transport Museurn. Mervyn’s knowledge of the Irish folklife is very broad. He has made a particular study of horses and pigs in relation to Irish farm life.

Joe Burke & Ann Conroy Burke, Ireland’s best known and most influential accordion player, Joe is also a fine performer on flute. He is joined by his wife, Ann Conroy, an accomplished player on accordion and guitar. Both specialise in the music of their native East Galway.

Taylor’s Cross Céilidh Band. Named after Limerick musician, Paddy Taylor, this fine group of musicians have attracted the attention of dancers throughout the country since their inception. In particular they are favoured by the many hundreds of people who have taken up set dancing in recent years.

REGISTRATION. Registration fee: £25. This fee covers the chosen course, lectures, and the Set Dance Céilidhs. admission to individual events for those not enrolled are as follows:
Lectures Fri/Sat £2; Concert on Sunday (by Ticket) £5. Set Dance Cèilìdhs £4

Enquires: Anna Gleeson, Ballingaddy, Ennistymon, Co. Clare.
(Tel.065 - 7071729)
Tom Munnelly, Fintra Beg, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare.
(Tel.065 - 7084365; E-mail, munnelly @
John Fawl, Ennistymon Rd. Lahinch, Co. Clare.
(Tel./Fax. 065 - 7081123)
P.J. Crotty, Main St., Lahinch, Co. Clare. (Tel. 065 - 7081079)

Committee: Tom Munnelly, chairperson. Anna Gleeson, secretary. P.J. Crotty, treasurer. Dr. Rìonach uì Ògàin, John Fawl, Dr. Liam Ò Dochartaigh, Pat Gleeson, Dr. Pàdraig Ò Hèalaì, Ita Neenan.

Sponsors: An Chomhairle Ealaìon. Arts Council Northern Ireland. Lahinch Golf Club. Bank of Ireland. Clare Co. Council. Shannon Development. Lahinch Businesses.

The full range of Irish folk life; storytelling, music, song, dance, crafts, material culture and language all go to make us what we are today. Scoil Leacht Uì Chonchùir is a celebration of the diversity and the unity which go into this mix. it covers, with equal emphasis all strata, Irish traditional culture, from all regions and in both languages. It is a weekend of lectures, classes, concerts and social gatherings wherein people from throughout the country and from aboard can meet and learn of all aspects of Irish folk tradition from eminent practitioners and authorities in their fields.

Back to Events Calendar 1998