Frankie Kennedy Winter School launched in Belfast

Family members of the late Frankie Kennedy Karen Mooney (niece), Anne Kennedy (sister), his mother Agnes Kennedy, Conor Byrne, musician and Winter School Director, and Gearoid O Maonaigh (brother in law) during the official launch of the Frankie Kennedy Winter School 2012 which was broadcast live on Rónán Beo@3 on RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta from the Students’ Union at Queen’s University on Thursday 29 November. Photo: Paul McErlane

THE Frankie Kennedy Winter School 2012 was officially launched on the Rónán Beo@3 programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday, 29 November, live from Queen’s University Belfast. 

Rónán Beo @3, normally broadcast from Raidió na Gaeltachta’s studios in Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal, relocated to Belfast for this very special event. 


Piper Robbie Hannan officially launched the school, and there were a host of other guest musicians and singers performing live including Dermot McLaughlin, Úna Monaghan, At First Light, ‘Na Buachaillí’, Tara and Dermie Diamond, Conor Byrne, Gearóid Ó Maonaigh, Réalta, Róise Nic Corraidh and musicians from Queens including Dr. Martin Dowling, Christine Dowling, Nollaig Casey and Conor Caldwell.

The event was all the more special since Frankie Kennedy was originally from Belfast, and also attended Queen’s University. 

The Frankie Kennedy Winter School will take place in Gaoth Dobhair in the Donegal Gaeltacht from 27 December to 1 January. 

The School was founded in Gaoth Dobhair in 1994 after the sad passing of Belfast-born flute player Frankie, a founder member of Altan. 

There will be events for all the family, including a series of concerts from Ireland’s finest artists, including Altan, Andy Irvine, Séamie O’Dowd, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steve Cooney, At First Light, and the return of the New Year’s Hooley, Ceol, Craic agus Céilí with Breanndán Begley and Steve Cooney, Reel It, plus much more. 

One of the other events on this year’s calendar is a concert to celebrate Raidió na Gaeltachta’s 40th Birthday and acknowledge their major contribution to promoting traditional music culture.

This will be recognized with performances from a variety of Donegal musicians and singers.


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