From novices to champions

For the second year in a row the show’s presenter Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí and his team want to send six more singers to Seán Nós boot camp in preparation for the famous Irish language festival which takes place at the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, in November.

The show’s producer, Dónall Mac Ruairí said: “We are looking for singers that have never taken part in the festival to join us once a week in the Derrybeg studio for boot camp training.

“We are delighted to announce that Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, who has previously won the Oireachtas Palme d’Or event Corn Uí Riada, is on board to help train our singers.”


Dónall said he will never forget last year’s event in the Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney and said that The X Factor wouldn’t have got a look in as the award-winning programme broadcast live from the Oireachtas as the ‘unbelievable’ events unfolded on Thursday and Friday.

“All our male singers managed to get called back and that for us was a huge achievement, but when it was announced on Thursday that Pól Phadaí Dubh Ó Gallchóir had won the competition the place went mad and to know that the event was being broadcast live on RTÉ RnaG was amazing as we knew that those following the boot camp training every Thursday in the studio were tuned in sharing in Pól’s success,” he said.

After a night of celebration with the men, it was the ladies’ turn on Friday. “We couldn’t believe it when word siphoned through that Suzanne Bn Uí Ghallchóir had won her event. She made her way to the Gleneagle and I’ll never forget the welcome she received, what a show.”

Pól Ó Gallchóir from Doiri Beaga won Corn Cuimhneachain Amhranaithe Sean-Nois Mhuscrai, which he won for sean-nós singing at the Oireachtas Festival in the INEC in Killarney.

This competition is the qualifying competition to allow people to compete in the Comórtas na bhFear/Comórtas na mBan, the main contest for men and women Sean Nós singers.

In it by chance

Pól told the Donegal News he ended up joining the boot camp at RnaG by chance having rung up last year to get tickets for a concert in Dunlewey.


“Even though I didn’t get the tickets I wanted, I joined the boot camp that day and for the first time began singing sean-nós. We would meet every weekend and then sing on radio once a week,” Pól said.

The electrical contractor from Gweedore is amazed at the number of people who heard him and have come up to congratulate him.

“It was a much bigger thing than I realised when I started. I am now learning two new songs for this year’s competition in Killarney.

Year out

Suzanne Uí Ghallchóir from Doiri Beaga took the Corn Mhaire Nic Dhonnchadha which she won for Sean Nós singing at the Oireachtas. This competition is for women over 35 and qualifies the winner to compete in Comórtas na mBan.

Suzanne is not taking part this year but her daughters Clodagh and Ailbhe are planning to take part in the Oireachtas in the under-12 section.

“I am taking a year out this year and I couldn’t do the boot camp for a second time as you can only do that once. I will be able to give my daughters a few tips on what to do.

“It was great fun and we had an absolutely wonderful time and I would recommend it to anyone – an experience that is really worth having,” Suzanne added.

Dónall added: “So let’s do it again, let’s keep the strong Donegal tradition of Seán Nós singing alive and let’s nab another few awards this year.”

If you would like to take part contact the show’s producer on or text the show on 51553 or from the six counties RNAG 80889.

Rónán’s show is broadcast on RTÉ Ráidio na Gaeltachta from Tuesday to Friday between 3 and 5 on 92-94 fm and sky page 0166


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