Registration for the 2022 Festival will open on Friday 25 March at 5 pm in the Ballyliffin Hotel. No advance booking is necessary.
Registration Fee 2022: €60
Saturday Bus Tour (optional): €10 payable at registration on Friday.
by Kevin McGonigle
The Thomas McCarthy Collecting Project
Thomas McCarthy in conversation with Alan Woods
Home & Away Session
Bus Tour of East Inishowen
The Coastal Songscape of Lough Foyle
led by Colm Ó Tuathaláin
Isle of Doagh
Lunch, Doagh Famine Village
Isle of Doagh
Songs from the Inishowen Song Project
featuring The Henry Girls, Ye Vagabonds and Ian Lynch. Doagh Famine Village
Isle of Doagh
Doagh Famine Village
featuring Len Graham, Frances Rodgers, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, Annie Hughes, Allan Taylor, Brónach Harkin, Molly Donaghey, Ella McGrory, and Thomas McCarthy
Saturday & Sunday
Live weaving demonstrations
will take place in Glendowen Crafts, Meentagh Glen
One Singer, One Song
with Seamus McRory & John Moulden
North Pole Session
hosted by Kevin McGonigle
Mac Tam Session
Mac Tam’s Bar
The Rusty Nail
Len is a national treasure within the Irish song tradition. He has championed the role of the solo voice and the richness of the Ulster repertoire in both formal and informal performance settings. An award winning performer, recording artist, researcher / publisher, he has dedicated his life to bringing traditional song to worldwide audiences with integrity, and professionalism. Len has been a loyal and ardent supporter of ITSC and we are honoured to provide an opportunity for him and Festival attendees to share songs & company in 2022.
Frances from Downpatrick, Co. Down is a wonderful exponent of Ulster singing in both her repertoire and style. She is an active participant and supporter of sessions across Ulster, as well as taking part as a guest performer. We are delighted to have the opportunity to feature Frances as a guest in 2022, having had the opportunity to share time online with her in 2021 and during previous visits to Inishowen.
Gwilym hails from the village of Bethel in the mountainous north west of Wales, where Welsh is predominantly spoken. He has been singing for as long as he can remember, being brought up in the Eisteddfod competetive singing tradition. after years of performing in Welsh language pop and rock groups, he now focuses mainly on traditional songs and original compositions. With a deep understanding and apreciacion of the Welsh lyrical and musical tradition, he combines old stories and poems with fresh and contemporary guitar accompaniment. He won the award for ‘best solo artist’ at the 2019 Welsh Folk Awards, and was nominted for ‘fok singer of the year’ at the BBC Radio 2 folk awards the same year. his fourth studio album ‘A Selection of Old Welsh Ballads #2’ is released March 2022.
Lockdown brought the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ online with a regularly monthly zoom singing session. During that time we were introduced to Dublin singer Annie Hughes, who has now become a familiar virtual face in our community. We are so pleased to have the opportunity to now invite Annie to the Festival in Inishowen. Born and raised in Dublin her journey with singing traditional Irish songs began while studying music at NUI Maynooth. Inspired by the natural ease that traditional singers exude, she has been singing and learning Irish songs ever since. She has also devoted her ongoing academic career to the exploration of song transmission on the Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry.
Allan is a singer from Aberdeenshire, brought up listening to and singing songs in “The Doric” (The Language of North east Scotland). For the past 15 years he has been immersed in singing & promoting the Ballads and Bothy Ballads of The North East of Scotland. Allan has performed in numerous concerts & Festivals as a singer/MC including Celtic Connections, and won many competitions over the years. He has been a director of the TMSA (Traditional Music and Song Association) and Is currently serving his second term as Chair of the Aberdeen Branch of the TMSA. His first CD “I gaed up bi Alford” was released in February 2021, and during lockdown has hosted a regular 45 minute song show on Facebook attracting local and international audiences. We met Allan regularly in lockdown online sessions and are delighted to welcome him for his first trip to Inishowen.
Thomas comes from a long line of old traditional singers and musicians, the McCarthys who settled in Birr, County Offaly, generations ago. It‘s a rare delight these days to come across a singer like Thomas, who has grown up within the oral tradition, learning songs in the old way directly from his family and the interlinked families of the travelling community in Ireland and England. Thomas‘ intricate ornamented style, with his passion for the songs and deep feeling for their history, reconnects us with centuries of oral culture. He was awarded the ‘Traditional Singer of the Year’ at the Gradam Ceoil Awards 2019. Thomas is currently field collecting Traveller songs & stories in collaboration with ITMA.
ITSC is especially pleased to present three young women from the Inishowen Peninsula, highly talented singers and musicians who are drawing on their rich family & community heritage as performers. This new collaboration for the Festival will see Brónach & Molly delve into the repertoire of generations of traditional singers in their families (Bronach’s great grandfather Denis McDaid, Molly’s mother & grandfather, Lucy & Seamus McRory) to select songs to be arranged & accompanied by fiddle/keyboard player Ella McGrory, a rich emerging talent in performance, composing and arranging. (Ella’s mother is Róisin Harrigan/McGrory, fiddle player & Director of Inishowen Traditional Music Project). We are excited to offer this particular performance opportunity to these emerging performers.
South Derry singer Seamus (Seamie) McRory is a much respected regular singer at Inishowen sessions, and our Festival. He has a rich repertoire of local songs and an ardent singer of the songs of Magilligan singer Eddie Butcher. Singers like Seamie are the backbone of local tradition, and we are especially delighted to feature his songs and singing in a unique workshop setting with researcher John Moulden. John is recognised nationally & internationally as an expert in traditonal song, having published & presented for decades on many aspects of the tradition. This workshop will feature a song performed, contextualised by the Seamie, and then contextualised within the wider song tradition by John. The event will be recorded and with notes, made available as a workshop learning package.
Colm is a passionate singer, supporter and advocate for traditional singing in the Inishowen Peninsula. From teenage years he immersed himself in the company of local singers, and has a phenomenal memory of singers, occasions, stories & songs. This local knowledge and keen work as a local historian, has made him the ideal guide on our Song tours over recent years exuding good humour, knowledge and songs on our memorable journeys.
See you in Inishowen!