Trad week is a family affair


West Donegal singing tradition and family joins musician for launch

THE sixth annual Letterkenny Trad Week (19th to 26th January) will feature two well-known musical families as part of its 2020 line-up.  On Tuesday night, 21st January the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny welcomes Donegal family group Clann Mhic Ruairí.  Made up of siblings Tony (singer), Aodh (singer/guitar), Sean (singer), Dónall (singer/percussion) and Tony’s daughter Megan (piano and singer), the family was raised on the Gaelic songs and stories of the Rann na Feirste Gaeltacht.  Hearing their music gives the listener an insight into this rich culture which they continue to preserve. This corner of Ireland is the birth place of internationally acclaimed artists who have moulded the Irish traditional music scene since the 1970s.  Clannad, Altan, Dónall Lunny and Skara Brae, to name but a few, have all blossomed in this area and Clann Mhic Ruairí have now taken up the torch in the hope of conserving and promoting this rich musical culture which lies at the core of their being.  Much of their repertoire are songs which were composed and sung in their locality for hundreds of years. They perform these traditional songs with a contemporary, innovative and inspirational approach, retaining the traditional purity and integrity of the song.


On Saturday, 25th January well-known Inishowen uilleann piper Paul Harrigan will be joined on stage by his family to mark the launch of his debut album.  Music from the White Stone which explores music from the Honoria Galwey Collection, the Donegal fiddle repertoire and also features some of his original compositions. Born into a musical family on the Inishowen Peninsula, Paul was influenced at an early age by his teachers Dinny McLaughlin, Evelyn Boyce,  and Theresa McClure and has the distinction of being All-Ireland champion on both the uilleann pipes and piano accordion.  A widely respected and versatile musician, Paul has traveled extensively, performing in Canada and the USA, and throughout Europe and China working with Irish groups such as Lunasa and Tuath, international acts Dirty Linen (France) and BlØf (Holland), and with virtuoso solo performers and composers Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, (Ireland) and French artists Benoit Guerbigny, Renaud Séchan and Jean-Marc Padovani (France) and was an original member of The Hell Fire Club with Shane McGowan, Terry Woods, (The Pogues), and the legendary Ronnie Drew (The Dubliners).  Paul is joined by acclaimed virtuoso musician Tim Edey on guitar and box, Roisin McGrory on fiddle and some very special guests. Further festival highlights include Sharon Shannon, The Lisa O’Neill Trio, Clann Mhic Ruairí, Paul Harrigan, Laoise Kelly & Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Lemoncello and The Straddy Session. Letterkenny Trad Week, 19th to 26th January 2020, is brought to you by the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny and An Grianán Theatre, with the kind support of Donegal County Council, The Donegal News (Media Partner), Music Network, Arts Council of Ireland and Earagail Arts Festival.

  • Tickets are available from regionalculturalcentre. com,, Tel 07491 20777, on in person from the An Grianán Theatre Box Office, Port Rd, Letterkenny

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