The Gathering Monaghan



06 April 2017 00:00 - 10 April 2017 00:00

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Welcome to Féile Patrick Byrne 2017, an Irish traditional music festival held annually on the Palm Sunday weekend in and around Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan. Organised by the Carrickmacross branch of Comhaltas, the event honours the Farney harper Patrick Byrne (c.1794-1863) who was the first Irish traditional musician ever photographed. The féile has been running since 2007 and aims to showcase the best of traditional music and dance with concerts, workshops, sessions, a lecture and céilí.

Wednesday 5th April

Traditional music session

Féile Patrick Byrne in association with Laragh Heritage and Aughnamullen CCÉ will hold a music session in St. Peter's Tin Church. Constructed entirely out of corrugated iron in a Swiss-Gothic style, this session promises to be a very special event.

7:30pm - The Tin Church, Laragh, Broomfield, Co. Monaghan - adm. free – all welcome.

Thursday 6th April

Official opening and the annual Patrick Byrne Lecture with Marion Rogan

Comhaltas President Ann Finnegan will officially open the féile and this will be followed by a public lecture given by Marion Rogan. Drawing on her PhD research, Marion will talk about the second Protestant reformation in the area in the early 19th century. In particular, she will focus on the Rev. Thomas Winning of Kingscourt who recruited local hedge-schoolmasters to teach the Protestant Bible through Irish, a language still widely spoken in the area.

8pm – The Shirley Arms Hotel, Carrickmacross – adm. free

Singing Session

9:30pm - Cunningham's Loft, Carrickmacross – adm. free

Friday 7th April

Recital with Gerry O’Connor

Master fiddler Gerry O’Connor will perform and teach at this year’s féile. Concentrating on music from the Oriel region, Gerry will give an intimate recital in the atmospheric setting of St. Finbarr’s Church. Those wishing to learn more of this local repertoire will have the opportunity to take a workshop with Gerry the following day.

8pm – St. Finbarr's Church, Main Street, Carrickmacross – adm. €5

Music Session 10pm – McNally's, Carrickmacross.

Saturday 8th April

Music Workshops

The Carrickmacross Workhouse will again host the workshops.There will be classes from 10:30am to 1pm and again from 2pm to 4:30pm. Registration in the half hour before workshop and the fee is €10 except for the Fun Trad workshop which will cost €5. The Fun Trad class is aimed at younger students who would not be ready for regular workshops. The emphasis is on having fun with music.

Places for workshops are limited to 15 per class. To reserve a place, send an email to with your name, address, contact telephone and workshop you want to attend and we will contact you back shortly.

Morning classes 10:30am to 1pm
Harp (Deirdre Granville); Tunes from Oriel (Gerry O’Connor); Introduction to traditional singing (Stephanie Makem) and Fun Trad (Seán Walsh).
Afternoon classes 2pm to 4:30pm
Accordion (Damian McKee); Fiddle (Niamh Dunne); Bodhrán (Eamon Murray) and Tunes from Oriel (Gerry O’Connor).

Heritage Walk with Charles Barker

Historian Charles Barker will guide walkers around Carrickmacross and bring alive the vibrant history of the town. The tour takes approximately 90 minutes and walkers should comfortable shoes and perhaps bring an umbrella!
11 am – meet at the front of the Courthouse / Shirley Arms Hotel.

Trad for teens music session

The Youth Officers of both Carrickmacross Comhaltas and County Monaghan Comhaltas have organised a music session specially for teenage musicians.
5pm – McNally’s, Carrickmacross.

Beoga in concert

Fresh from their collaboration with Ed Sheeran, the critically acclaimed Beoga will headline this year’s Féile Patrick Byrne. Described as “fast, furious, frantic, fun, innovative, diverse and exciting”, Beoga will bring their joyous blend of Irish traditional and other musical genres to Carrickmacross. An evening not to be missed!
8pm – St. Louis Secondary School Hall – adm €15 adults / under 18s €5 at door.

Music Session - 10:30pm – Markey's, Carrickmacross.

Sunday 9th April

Sean Nós Dance Workshop

Jonathan McCloy, who won last year’s prestigious Oireachtas na Samhna sean nós dancing competition, will give this workshop. This class is suitable for both beginners and improvers. Workshop fee €10.
Noon to 2pm - St. Louis Secondary School Hall, Carrickmacross

video of Jonathan dancing at Drumshambo

Sets Céilí with the Abbey Céilí Band

The Abbey hail from Cork and are one of Ireland's finest bands. The sets will be called and refreshments served. Adm €10.
3pm to 6pm - St. Louis Secondary School Hall, Carrickmacross

Family session
A session with one difference - tunes are played at a slower pace. Suitable for less experienced players of all ages.
6:30pm to 8pm – the Valley Lodge.

Survivors’ Session
Final session of the féile weekend, all welcome.
8pm – the Valley Lodge.

Pubs who have sponsored the music sessions:

  • Cunningham's,
  • Markey's,
  • McNally's
  • The Valley Lodge.


“the most exciting new traditional band to emerge from Ireland this century” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Beoga are at the forefront of the new Irish wave.” IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE

“9.5/10” HOT PRESS

“fast, furious, frantic, fun, innovative, diverse and exciting” LIVING TRADITION MAGAZINE

“Individually talented and collectively inspired, this is a quartet who speak a language called music with a fluency beloved of the best multi-linguists.” THE IRISH TIMES

“They're called Beoga…they are really, really talented. They came to my house to stay and we made some songs. Two of them have made the record. It's jammy, it's folky.” ED SHEERAN

Thank you!

Carrickmacross Comhaltas / Féile Patrick Byrne would like to thank our funders for their generous support and making the festival possible:
the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon; Monaghan County Council Arts Office; Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Meitheal programme and Carrickmacross & Castleblayney Municipal District Council.

A short video by Hugh McCluskey on last years Féile Patrick Byrne

Further details on

Events Calendar


Event Map


28-48 Main Street, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
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