Fleadh Weekly Update No 15 – Clare Champion

8 July 2016

Dome Performances

THE 2,000 seater dome, which is to be placed in Tim Smyth Park for the upcoming All-Ireland Fleadh is the largest dome venue the Fleadh has ever seen, according to the venue committee chairperson.

The dome is being used to cater for the larger concerts and competitions taking place in the Fleadh such as the Senior Céilí Band competition, which this year will have 20 bands competing.

The venue will be fully seated and according to Joe Arkins, Chairman of the Venue Sub-committee “It’s the biggest dome that has ever been at any Fleadh in Ireland”.

The dome will be one of two specially constructed venues, and a second dome, which will seat 1,500 will be erected in the sports field of the CBS primary school.

Concerts taking place in the 2,000 seater dome include performances by Beoga and Cruinniú. Beoga are based in County Antrim and while the bedrock of their sound lies firmly within the Irish tradition, they are not afraid to incorporate other genres’ nuances into their music. The band was drawn together in 2002 after ‘jamming’ in a ferocious session at the All-Ireland Fleadh. 

Meanwhile Cruinniú were formed in 2005 to travel to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, in France. The name, which means gathering, is fitting for this group as it has brought musical friends from different parts of Ireland gather together.

This is the 10th anniversary of their critically acclaimed album Live in Corofin and the Fleadh will offer a rare opportunity to see all the original members of the band together in one concert.

Also taking to the Dome stage is The Kilfenora Céilí Band with special guest Seán Keane. The Kilfenora is one of the oldest céilí bands in the world and for this concert they will also be joined by singer Edel Vaughan, former Riverdance lead Michael Donnellan , Deirdra Kiely, Laura Minogue, and Michael Gardiner plus the Energetic Clare Set Dancers. This expertly choreographed show of high-spirited traditional music will feature energetic and athletic dancing, melodious song and witty story-telling from guest artists. 

Meanwhile multiple All-Ireland medal holder Seán Keane will entertain with his traditional Irish, folk and even country and blues songs. Growing up in a family of singers and musicians, Seán learned the sean-nós style of singing from his mother and his aunts. Singing was his life, even in early childhood; by the time Seán reached his teens, he had collected 13 All-Ireland medals in Fleadh Cheoil competitions.

Stockton’s Wing and Maura O’Connell will also take to the Dome stage during the Fleadh. The music of Stockton's Wing has evolved into an exciting blend of traditional and contemporary Irish music and song, performed with power and precision by some of the finest musicians in Ireland. The five member group includes All-Ireland Champions, Paul Roche, Maurice Lennon, Kieran Hanrahan and Tommy Hayes with Tony Callinan. 

The final Fleadh fling in the Dome will see Cherish the Ladies perform with special guests Don Stiffe, Noel Hill and Tony Linnane, Mary Bergin, Nollaig Casey, Liz and Yvonne Kane, Donnchadh Gough, and Maura O’Connell. Cherish the Ladies are a Grammy-nominated Irish-American super group that formed in New York City in 1985. The group got together to celebrate the rise of extraordinary women in what had been a male-dominated Irish music scene and since then they have toured the world, played the White House and the Olympics, recorded 16 albums.

Under the leadership of the dynamic and irrepressible flute and whistle champion Joanie Madden, these ladies create an evening that includes a spectacular blend of virtuoso instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements, and stunning step dancing. Their continued success as one of the top Celtic groups in the world is due to the ensembles ability to take the best of Irish traditional music and dance and put it forth in an immensely entertaining package.