Inishowen Trad Orchestra and Choir to perform a Concert at the National Concert Hall

The 130 member Inishowen Trad Orchestra and Choir, conducted by Martin Tourish and Lorna McLaughlin, will present their unique celebration of the traditional music and song of Inishowen, County Donegal –  from the earliest times to the present day –  at the National Concert Hall, Dublin this Sunday evening, January 22 at 5.00pm.

The unique ensemble sold out the 1000 seater venue earlier this month.

The concert is jointly promoted by Inishowen Traditional Music Project and Donegal County Council .


The programme was first performed over two sold out performances in Buncrana earlier this year as part of the Inishowen Traditional Music Project’s Féile na hInse music festival, and it was clear from that point that this was a work that deserved to be showcased on a national stage.

Sunday night’s performance will take place at the National Concert Hall in the presence of the President of Ireland, Mr. Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina Higgins.

The evening, which will be introduced by Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, will include performances of Mael Ísú Úa Brolcháin of Culdaff’s noted 11th century composition, Deus Meus, Adiuva Me;  a selection of popular 19th century songs and tunes drawn from the collection of Honoria Galwey of Moville; a section dedicated to the music of hugely influential Buncrana musician, composer and teacher Dinny McLaughlin, all followed by a rousing ‘Big Nights’ finale echoing the legendary house dance gatherings of old, with the music of Seamus Grant, the Clonmany Céilí Band, Paddy and Tom Byrne,  sprinkled with a touch of Jimmy Shand and even some Jules Holland-style, piano boogie-woogie.

For Ballybofey musician and composer Martin Tourish, who has arranged this wonderful suite of music for orchestral performance and will conduct the ensemble on the night, this will be a very special occasion.

Speaking to the Donegal News, Martin Tourish said it has been a tremendous honour to share in this journey.

“I would like to thank each and every member of the incredible Trad Orchestra and Choir, the composers and collectors past and present, and of course the Inishowen Traditional Music Project, without whose work, none of this would have been possible.

“Most importantly, what I hope you will hear throughout the entirety of this work are the joys, resilience, spirituality, loves, losses, humour and indeed rebellious flair, as experienced over the centuries by the people of this particular part of the world,” he said.


Roisin McGrory, Project Leader, Inishowen Traditional Music Project said she is delighted to have the opportunity to bring this unique project to the national stage and honoured that President Higgins and his wife Sabina are joining us for the event.

“There is a great sense of pride among the group as the music we are performing is from our homeplace.

“Through Martin’s arrangements we are bringing to life music from an Inishowen archive that spans a millenium.

“Two movements in particular are dedicated to the little known 19th century female collector, Honoria Galwey. Honoria played a huge and until now, underrated role, in collecting songs and tunes from the local people of Inishowen, Derry and other parts of Donegal.

“Many of these pieces are no longer in circulation so we are delighted to be bringing them back to life,” she said.

The event is being jointly promoted by the Inishowen Traditional Music Project and by Donegal County Council as part of its ongoing programme to promote the county as a vibrant and culturally rich community, a tourist destination (, a place to invest in, relocate to and work remotely from (

The Trad Orchestra and Choir project is assisted by The Arts Council, Donegal County Council and Inishowen Development Partnership.


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