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Fanore Songnights’ 10th season, Friday, 20 October
Fanore Songnights’ 10th season is due to start on Friday, 20 October

Fanore Songnights’ 10th season is due to start on Friday, 20 October at O’Donohue’s Pub at 9.30pm. With Anna Carrucan as Bean an Tí, the Special Guest will be Deirbhile Ní Bhrolcháin (pictured).

Deirbhile is a traditional singer from Galway. She has been singing since childhood and is the youngest member of a family who were immersed in various types of music making in Galway including school groups, ballad groups, Sean nós singing, musicals, choirs etc.

She mainly sings traditional songs when singing solo but is also a member of Cois Cladaigh choir and has a great interest in Irish and music of many genres. She studied Celtic Studies & has an M.A. in Old Irish from UCG and she also has a B.Mus.from UCC. 

Her solo album Smaointe was recorded with Gael linn under the capable production of Brendan O'Regan.
She also sang a track on 'Island Wedding', an RTE recording and she sang at performances of this Charlie Lennon work in Moscow and in the National Concert Hall in Dublin. 

Deirbhile is working on an album at the moment which should be available in November which includes a wide range of songs & with musicians such as Gabriel Donohue, Kevin Hough, David O'Rourke, Joanie Madden, Nollaig Casey and Maurice Lennon. 

Needless to say you will not want to miss an evening with this exquisite singer!


Deirbhile Ní Bhrolcháin



FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 19TH MAY!
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 19TH MAY!

It is a great pleasure to announce the final songnight of the 2016/2017 season.
Starting at 9.30pm at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore and with Michael Clerkin as Fear an Tí, our Special Guest will be one of our regular singers, Gerry Shannon (pictured).

A traditional singer for many years, Gerry is a frequent visitor to our songnights, and his exquisite versions of ‘An Bonnán Bui’ (‘The Yellow Bittern’), ‘John Phillip Holland’ and the ever-popular and often requested humorous ‘The Bulldog and Me’ (to mention just a few) always make for great listening pleasure. High time, therefore, to focus on his vast repertoire of traditional songs from Clare, Mayo and beyond.

Also, UK singer Richard Bowmer is planning his annual visit to Fanore to coincide with our songnight. This will be his second visit, and anyone who remembers his fine performances of ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ at last year’s session will look forward to hearing more from him as well.

Two good reasons therefore to attend the last songnight of the current season. We will be back in autumn with more fine singers and songs, but in the meantime we look forward to meeting you at O’Donohues on the 19th!



Gerry Shannon


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON THURSDAY, 20 APRIL!
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON THURSDAY, 20 APRIL!

The next songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub, Fanore will take place on Thursday, 20 April. It moves to the Thursday so as not to clash with the Kilfenora Music Festival that weekend!

Starting at 9.30pm, and with Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan in the chair, the Special Guest will be local singer Peter Casey (pictured).

Over the past few years, Peter has been writing his own songs: inspired by the great Briain O’Rourke and taking his subjects from local and topical affairs, these songs are truly hilarious: from a local man running the Burren Marathon and a hapless GAA official to the tribulations of buying things at two of our best-known supermarkets, they are always great fun to listen to.

Indeed, two of the videos recorded by Sean McLaughlin, who occasionally visits Fanore to make recordings for his Facebook page, went absolutely viral within days of posting!

All the more reason to invite Peter to be the Special Guest at what will undoubtedly be a night of great humour and fun, focusing on Peter’s self-penned repertoire!    


Peter Casey
Peter Casey


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON THURSDAY, 9 FEBRUARY!
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON THURSDAY, 9 FEBRUARY!

On Thursday, 9 February Fanore Songnights will host – for the fourth time – the preview of the Ballyvaughan Welsh Weekend at O’Donohue’s Pub, Fanore.

Starting at 9.30pm and with George Henderson and Michael Clerkin as Fir an Tí, the group of singers will include – beside George himself – Andrew Longworth-Dames from Gwynedd (Wales) as well as two accomplished singers/musicians from France: Jean-Philippe Nicolas and Regina Kirtley (pictured), who will visit Fanore for the first time.

Both are very much involved in the Irish traditional music scene in France. All singers are welcome to join in what promises to be an unforgettable night of songs and music! 

Please note that there will be no songnight in March because of St Patrick’s Day; the next night will be on Friday, 21 April.


Jean-Philippe Nicolas

Regina Kirtley


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 20 JANUARY 2017
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 20 JANUARY 2017!

First of all, we like to wish you a Happy Christmas and an equally happy, healthy and above all musical New Year.

The first songnight of 2017 will take place on Friday, 20 January.

With Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan in the chair, the Special Guest will be Anne Skelton (pictured), a beautiful singer from Galway.

Anne, a native of Bekan, Co. Mayo and married to Galway flute player Joe Skelton, has been living in Galway for thirty years. Her father, John Kelly was a singer and step dancer and her mother Mary Murray was also a singer.

Anne Skelton
Anne Skelton

Anne has recordings of all her father’s songs and sings most of them and is also a big fan of the Northern singing tradition. Anne has given workshops and/or guest appearances at various singing/traditional music festivals, Feile Chois Cuain, Corofin Tradfest, Tulla Trad Fest, Willie Clancy Summer School etc.

The songnight starts at 9.30pm, at O’Donohue’s Pub, and of course all singers are welcome!



FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2016
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER

We are pleased to announce the second night of our ninth season, and a very Special Guest:

Paddy Commane, from Kilmaley, Co. Clare (pictured here – by Kevin Byrne – during his visit to Fanore a few years ago) specialises in humorous recitations, some of which were written by the well-known poet Brendan Kennelly.

Among many other things, he is also a fine singer and actor, performing with The Irish Rambling House, a group of entertainers based in North Kerry. He is also a very familiar face at the sessions of the Ennis Singers Club.

Paddy Commane
Paddy Commane
We are delighted to announce Paddy as our Special Guest at the songnight at O’Donohues on Friday, 18 November, with Fear an Tí Michael Clerkin in the chair. Starting at 9.30pm, this promises to be a night of great craic! And of course, all singers are welcome to contribute.


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 14 OCTOBER!
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 14 OCTOBER!

A Chara

Fanore Songnights’ 9th season starts on Friday, 14 October and will feature two local singers as Special Guests:

Anna Carrucan (pictured) has chaired many songnights as our Bean an Tí, as a result of which she only sings occasionally herself, thereby overlooking the fact that she has an exquisite repertoire of older ballads, including many English and Scottish songs (Burns’ ‘Ode to Autumn’ is only one example).

This songnight will focus on her songs and those of her brother Patsy (also pictured), who is one of Fanore’s finest singers with a wide-ranging repertoire of local and contemporary songs.

Starting at 9.30pm and with Fear an Tí Michael Clerkin in the chair, this promises to be another versatile night of songs at O’Donohue’s Pub. And as always, all singers are welcome to contribute their own songs and recitations. Don’t miss it!

Kind regards,
FANORE SONGNIGHTS
Willem Verhulst (pr)


Anna Carrucan

Patsy Carrucan


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 20 MAY!
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 20 MAY!

We are pleased to announce our Special Guest for the final songnight of the 2015/2016 season: Edel Vaughan from Crusheen (pictured).

Edel is a renowned singer and flute-player, with many All-Ireland titles to her name. She has toured the world from China to Oman and various cities throughout Europe and is also a regular singer with the Kilfenora Céilí Band.

Edel's debut CD, entitled ‘Spreagtha’, was released in April 2016. It contains, as Tim Dennehy noted, ‘songs presented with a nod to context and history, embedded with a personal and passionate touch’. Copies will be available to purchase on the night.

With Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan in the chair, the songnight starts at 9.30pm and all singers are welcome to contribute. Needless to say, we are honoured to have such a distinguished singer join our already impressive list of Special Guests.

Patrons are advised to come early to be sure of a seat!  

Edel Vaughan
Edel Vaughan


BFANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 15 APRIL
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 15 APRIL

Fanore Songnights’ next singing session will take place on Friday, 15 April. Starting at 9.30 pm and with Fear an Tí Michael Clerkin in the chair, we will welcome as our Special Guest the renowned Doolin singer Ted McCormac (pictured). Ted is an outstanding singer with an excellent repertoire of haunting old ballads and contemporary songs. His renditions of well-known songs such as ‘The Auld Triangle’, ‘Isle of Inisfree’ and ‘The Black Velvet Band’ (to mention just a few of his performances that can be found on YouTube), are impressive, while his version of Dick Gaughan’s beautiful ‘Reconciliation’ is truly unforgettable! We are proud to present this local singer – and local legend! – as our Special Guest. All singers are welcome, but please come early to be sure of a seat!



Ted McCormac


BALLYVAUGHAN WELSH WEEKEND
Ballyvaughan Welsh Weekend - Thursday, 11 February


Our February Songnight will, for the third year in a row, see the ‘preview’ of the Ballyvaughan Welsh Weekend. Please note that this will necessarily have to take place on a Thursday, as the singers will be in Ballyvaughan on the following days. So, on Thursday, 11 February, and with our own Michael Clerkin as Fear an Tí, we will welcome the Welsh singers to Fanore for another exciting night of songs and recitations.

At the time of writing, three names have been confirmed: weather permitting, Andrew Longworth Dames and Gerallt Llewellyn will travel from Wales, while George Henderson will join us from Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Andrew Longworth DamesAndrew Longworth Dames
George HendersonGeorge Henderson

These pictures were taken at the 2014 preview, and show the rousing performances that we may expect again this year, so make sure to visit O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore on the 11th of next month. Starting time is 9.30pm, but please come early to be sure of a seat!




FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 15 JANUARY AND MORE…
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 15 JANUARY AND MORE…


First of all, we like to wish everybody a happy Christmas and an equally happy, healthy and musical 2016.

The month of January will see two special singing events in Fanore:

On Wednesday, 6 January Anna Carrucan will host the annual Nollaig na mBan singing session at O’Donohue’s Pub. Starting at 8pm, these sessions are a continuation of the old tradition of ‘Women’s Christmas’, when ladies would gather for a night out after the busy Christmas period. All singers (male and female!) are welcome to take part.

Anna will also be the Bean an Tí at the first of our ‘regular’ songnights of 2016, which will take place on Friday, 15 January. The venue is, as always, O’Donohue’s Pub and our special guest will be Róisín Rodgers from Ballinruan (pictured). Róisín is a beautiful singer and also plays the concertina and the Irish harp. She was this year’s Senior Ladies singing champion at the Connacht Fleadh Cheoil and also sang at the recent launch of the 2016 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis. She works as a music teacher and holds a BA (Hons) in Irish Music, Song and Dance as well as an MA in Community Music from the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. Needless to say, we look forward to an exciting night of songs and music and hope that you will join us for the occasion! Starting time is 9.30pm, and of course all singers are welcome.

Roisin Rodgers
Róisín Rodgers

 



FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 20 November 2015
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 20 November 2015


The next songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub will be held on Friday, 20 November, with Michael Clerkin as Fear an Tí.

Unfortunately, none of the guest singers on our list was available on that date, so it will necessarily be a ‘local’ night with as many contributions from the audience as possible. Last month’s songnight with Patsy Carrucan proved again that Fanore has a lot to offer, so we may look forward to another exciting night of songs and recitations!

The night will start at 9.30pm. We hope to meet you in Fanore on the 20th.

Please note that there will be no songnight in December because of the Christmas holidays; the next night in our series will be on Friday, 15 January 2016, while on Wednesday, 6 January Anna Carrucan will host the annual Nollaig na mBan session (details to follow).

 



IN MEMORIAM: PADDY QUEALLY (1933-2015; RIP)
IN MEMORIAM: PADDY QUEALLY (1933-2015; RIP)

It is with great sadness that we have to inform our readers of the passing of one of our great local singers. Paddy Queally was one of the outstanding singers at our first songnights back in 2008 and 2009, with ‘The Vale of Fermoyle’ and ‘The Chapel Gates in Cooraclare’ as his trademark performances. Sadly, he spent his final years in a Galway nursing home. We offer our heartfelt condolences to John and the Queally family. Paddy’s great contribution to the success of our songnights will always be remembered. May he rest in peace. 

Paddy Queally (1933-2015)Paddy Queally (1933-2015)

 



FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2015
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER!!


Fanore Songnights’ eighth season will start on Friday, 16 October. As always, the venue is O’Donohue’s Pub and at the start the new season, it is a great pleasure to announce a local singer as our Special Guest.

Since the start of the songnights in Fanore, Patsy Carrucan (pictured) has been one of our regular singers, with ‘The Fields above Fanore’ as his signature tune. But the ease with which he switches from traditional to folk and contemporary or humorous songs is a good reason to devote the next songnight to his versatile and tastefully chosen repertoire, which includes songs by composers as diverse as Tim Dennehy (‘Old Boots and Flying Sandals’), Briain O’Rourke (‘When I Grow up’), Tommy Sands (‘There Were Roses’) and – believe it or not – Shane McGowan (‘Rainy Night in Soho’). And no doubt there will be a few surprises as well.

The songnight will start at 9.30pm, with Anna Carrucan as Bean an Tí, and of course all singers are welcome to join in.

We look forward to meeting you in Fanore on 16 October!

Patsy Carrucan
Patsy Carrucan



FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 15 MAY 2015

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 15 MAY

The last Songnight of the 2014/2015 season will start at 9.30pm. Anna Carrucan will be the Bean an Tí and we will be joined by a very Special Guest: Frances Kennedy, the well-known singer, poet and outrageous storyteller from Listowel, Co. Kerry (pictured).

Once again, this promises to be a night full of fun and entertainment, and of course all singers are welcome to take part. We look forward to meeting you at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore on 15 May!

Frances Kennedy
Frances Kennedy

 



FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 17 APRIL 2015!

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 17 APRIL 2015!

The next songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub, Fanore will be held on Friday, 17th April. Starting at 9.30 pm, and with Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan in the chair, our Special Guest will be Padraig Cunningham (pictured). Padraig hails from Galway City and has been participating in singers’ clubs for many years. He is a regular contributor to the annual ‘Welsh Weekend’ in Ballyvaughan and has a huge repertoire of songs, including Folk, Trad and Sea Shanties. Needless to say, all singers are welcome to contribute to what promises to be another great night in our successful series.

Padraig Cunningham
Padraig Cunningham

 


FANORE SONGNIGHTS, THURSDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2015

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON THURSDAY, 12 FEBRUARY!

Last year’s preview of the Ballyvaughan Welsh Weekend at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore was such a success that it has been decided to host the event for the second year running.

On Thursday, 12 February singers from Wales, Scotland and Brittany (as well as a surprise guest all the way from Trinidad: Marian O’Reilly) will gather in Fanore, together with members of the Marrinan family of Cooraclare (the sons and daughter of the late Marty Marrinan (†2011), one of Clare’s finest traditional singers) to delight the audience with their rich and varied repertoire of songs.

Having so many fine singers present, we have decided to start the evening at the earlier time of 8.30pm. Fear an Tí duties will be shared by George Henderson (for the ‘Welsh’ singers) and John Casey (for the Marrinan family).

The picture will give you an idea of the atmosphere at last year’s event: it shows an animated performance by Brigitte Kloareg (Brittany) and Andrew Longworth Dames (Wales), who were just two of the excellent singers to delight the audience until well into the small hours!

Of course all singers are welcome to join these outstanding performers and – if time allows – contribute their own songs.

We are looking forward to hosting a great night of songs on Thursday, 12 February from 8.30pm onwards – needless to say you are advised to arrive early to be sure of a seat!

____________________________

Brigitte Kloareg and Andrew Longworth Dames at last year's preview of the Welsh Weekend in Fanore.
Brigitte Kloareg and Andrew Longworth Dames
at last year's preview of the Welsh Weekend in Fanore.


FANORE SONGNIGHTS JANUARY 2015

Fanore Songnights January 2015

First of all, we would like to wish you a prosperous, healthy and musical 2015!

In January, Fanore will be spoilt for choice as far as traditional singing is concerned. On Tuesday, 6 January Anna Carrucan will host the annual Nollaig na mBan session at O’Donohue’s Pub. Coinciding with Twelfth Night, or the Feast of the Epiphany, Nollaig na mBan (meaning ‘Women’s Christmas’ in Irish) a traditionally a women’s night out, although Anna assures us that, while the session will primarily focus on lady singers and their songs, all singers are welcome to take part. The session starts at 8pm.

On Friday, 16 January Anna will also be the Bean an Tí at our first songnight of 2015 at O’Donohue’s Pub. Starting at 9.30pm, our guest singer will be Conor Fahy of Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare (pictured). Conor sings traditional songs in both English and Irish and he also has a few self-composed songs in his repertoire. We look forward to another great night of songs in our successful series and are very pleased to welcome this fine local singer as our Special Guest. Needless to say that, as always, all singers are welcome to participate!
____________________________________________________________________

Conor Fahy of Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare
Conor Fahy of Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare

 


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2014

Fanore Songnight on Friday, 21 November

The next songnight at O'Donohue's Pub, Fanore will take place this Friday, 21 November, with Tom Huban (pictured) as our special guest. Tom is from Oranmore, Co. Galway, and has a fine repertoire of songs, which he developed while playing in a band many years ago. While not generally known as a singer, he still performs at functions in and around Galway, and at events organised by the Galway Walking Club, where he is one of the main organisers of walking excursions in the area and beyond.

The songnight will start at 9.30pm and of course all singers are welcome! Fear an Tí duties will be shared by John Casey and Willem Verhulst. There is no songnight in December; the next night will be on Friday, 16 January, 2015.

Tom Huban (photo by Mary Clarke)
Tom Huban (photo by Mary Clarke

 


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2014

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 17 OCTOBER!

We are pleased to announce the start of our 7th season: on Friday 17 October, we will welcome as our Special Guest the renowned singer/songwriter Mick Scanlan from Killaloe (pictured).

Mick has been involved in music for most of his life, from co-founding the Shannon Folk Four back in 1967 to (most recently) performing at the 2014 Milwaukee Irish Fest in August, where the Clare Ború Group, of which he is a member, paid tribute to the legendary Robbie MacMahon.

As a musician, a singer and a songwriter, Mick has performed at singing clubs in Ireland, Europe and the US. His songs have been collected in his book Meanderings of an idle mind, copies of which will be available on the night.

We look forward to hosting Mick’s performance of the songs from his extensive repertoire, which ranges from a humorous song from a 19th-century musical about a hapless French teacher in Killaloe (‘You may talk of Boneyparty…’) to self-penned ballads about the Clare hurling team and Brian Ború.

The songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore will start at 9.30pm; Bean an Tí will be Anna Carrucan and of course all singers are welcome.

Mick Scanlan

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON FRIDAY, 16 MAY 2014

The final songnight of our 2013/2014 season will be a multicultural event: on Friday, 16 May Fear an Tí Michael Clerkin will welcome Balkan singer Srdjan Kekanovic (pictured) as our Special Guest.

Srdjan is originally from Osijek (Croatia), where he was a professional member of the local opera choir. At the start of the Balkan war, he fled Croatia and eventually settled in Holland, where he is now a successful solo artist. He regularly performs his fine repertoire of Balkan ballads for Dutch audiences, and he is also an ambassador for Musicians without Borders, an international organisation which oncerts and workshops on healing and reconciliation through music.

We are very pleased to have him as our Special Guest. While in Ireland, Srdjan will also be a guest of the Ennis Singers Club (9 May) and perform at the Guru Tea Room in Ennistymon (14 May).

The songnight will start at 9.30pm, and of course all singers are welcome to take part.

We look forward to meeting you at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore on May 16th!


PREVIEW OF THE 2014 BALLYVAUGHAN WELSH WEEKEND IN FANORE
PREVIEW OF THE 2014 BALLYVAUGHAN WELSH WEEKEND IN FANORE!

We are please to announce our February Songnight: on Thursday, 13 February we will host a preview of the 2014 Ballyvaughan Welsh Weekend at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore!

The tradition of the Welsh Weekend goes back to 1982, when Mike Donohue and Amanda Lacey got married on Valentine’s Day and decided to honeymoon in Ballyvaughan. They invited a number of friends to join them, both musicians and singers. The following year they decided to come back and in 1984 and 1985 they invited all of their Welsh friends to join them. Sadly, Mike was killed in a road accident in June 1985, but his friends decided to continue the successful weekends, which have now been going for 33 years.

Over the past years, this has always coincided with our February songnights. Fortunately, the organisers of the Welsh Weekend allowed us to host a preview of this year’s event, which will start at 9.30pm, with George Henderson as Fear an Tí. All singers are welcome!

So far, 14 singers from Wales, Scotland, England, Brittany and Ireland have agreed to come to Fanore. They include: Brigitte Kloareg (Brittany and Wales), Eric and Ron Jackson (West Bromwich), Carole Atkinson (Guernsey and Newcastle), Angela Plunkett (Scotland), Phil Brennan (Ireland) and Gerallt Llewellyn (Wales).

We look forward to another good (and long) night of songs from these guests and from our own local singers!

FANORE SONGNIGHT ON 17 JANUARY 2014
FANORE SONGNIGHT ON 17 JANUARY 2014
First of all, we wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and musical 2014. After the successful celebration of our fifth anniversary in November, in no small way thanks to the outstanding performances by our Special Guest Tim Dennehy, we can now announce the first songnight of 2014: on Friday, 17 January we will be joined by Joe Kearney (pictured).

Joe is from Shanaglish, Co. Galway, and will be known to many of you as the inimitable Fear an Tí of the singing sessions at Whelan’s Pub, and as the master storyteller and reciter of a large repertoire of humorous prose and poetry pieces, with subjects ranging from turf-cutting in Donegal, a holiday in Spain and a missing sugar bowl to an updated boom-and-bust version of ‘Kilkelly’.


Joe Kearney
We are pleased to welcome Joe as our Special Guest to O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore for an evening focusing on his highly entertaining repertoire. Starting at 9.30pm and with Michael Clerkin as Fear an Tí, all singers are welcome to contribute.

ANNIVERSARY SONGNIGHT ON 15 NOVEMBER!

ANNIVERSARY SONGNIGHT ON 15 NOVEMBER!

On Friday, 15 November 2013 we will celebrate our fifth anniversary with a special evening for which our first-ever guest singer in November 2008 will return to Fanore.

Tim Dennehy (pictured; photo by Con Kelleher) needs no introduction: he is one of Clare’s best-known singer-songwriters, with 6 CDs to his name, and has produced a body of work with which most aficionados of traditional and contemporary songs will be familiar.

Indeed, hardly a songnight in Fanore goes by without a performance of one of Tim’s compositions by local singers.


Tim Dennehy
(photo by Con Kelleher).

‘A Winter’s Tear’, ‘The Parted Years’, ‘Farewell to Pripyat’ and Sigerson Clifford’s ‘Ballad of the Tinker’s Daughter’ are just a few of the favourites that serve as a fitting testament to Tim’s popularity in North Clare, so don’t miss the opportunity to hear these and other great songs from the master himself!

Starting at 9.30pm, Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan will welcome Tim Dennehy back to O’Donohue’s Pub to celebrate our anniversary, and of course all singers are welcome to join in.

 


FANORE SONGNIGHTS: THE SIXTH SEASON!
FANORE SONGNIGHTS: THE SIXTH SEASON!
Over the past five years, the songnights during the winter months at O’Donohue’s pub in Fanore have gone from strength to strength. The list of our guest singers reads like a veritable ‘who’s who’ of top singers from Clare and beyond.

The first songnight of the sixth season will take place on Friday, 18 October, with Denise Whelan (pictured) as our special guest. Denise comes from Larch Hill, Barefield (Ennis). She has won several All-Irelands with St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield as a set-dancer in Scór.

As a singer, she won the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in 2010. A regular performer at singers’ clubs in Ennis, Spancil Hill and Shanaglish, Denise sings a variety of traditional, sean nós and folksongs.
Denise WhelanDenise Whelan
At 9.30pm, Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan will welcome Denise for night of songs at O’Donohues. With an All-Ireland champion as special guest, this promises to be a great night, at which of course all singers are welcome!

FANORE SONGNIGHT IN MAY

After the cancellation of the January songnight, a new date was set for Brian O’Rourke’s visit as Special Guest. It will now go ahead on to Friday 17 May, when Fear an Tí Michael Clerkin will welcome Brian (pictured) at O’Donohue’s Pub, Fanore, for a night of songs focusing on his vast repertoire of humorous and satirical songs.

This is an opportunity to hear gems such as ‘The Bodhrán Song’, ‘Donal Óg Replies’ and that hilarious fifteen-minute lament for lost love, ‘Chantal de Champignon’ from the master himself!

Brian’s CD Chantal de Champignon (a reissue of his 1992 cassette When I Grow Up) will also be available to purchase on the night.

The songnight will start at 9.30pm and of course all singers are welcome.

Brian O'Rourke
Brian O'Rourke

FANORE SONGNIGHT IN APRIL

The next songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore will be held on Friday, 19 April.

At 9.30pm, Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan will welcome as our Special Guest George Henderson from Bray, Co. Wicklow (pictured).

George is a native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. ‘I came to Ireland for a one-week holiday in 1971 and I am still here,’ he says. Since then, his activities as an organiser (and singer) have been too numerous to mention: among many other things, he was a founding committee member of the Ennistymon Singing Festival (1990-2003) and helped set up singers clubs in Nenagh, Ennis and Bray. For the past 30 years, he has also been involved in running the ‘Welsh’ weekend in Ballyvaughan in February.

He is a member of the Góilín Singers Club in Dublin, and has been a featured singer at events all over the country.

His repertoire includes Irish traditional songs (in the English language), as well as traditional English, Geordie and Scottish songs and some modern ones (also in traditional style). This promises to be a very entertaining songnight, with special focus on a wide variety of songs from our Special Guest.


George Henderson
George Henderson

 


FANORE SONGNIGHT: 15 FEBRUARY

The next songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore will be held on Friday, 15 February.

Fear an Tí will be Michael Clerkin and, starting at 9.30pm, the Special Guest will be Anne Rynne (pictured).

Anne comes from a family of well-known singers and grew up in Kildare. She moved to Clare ‘many moons ago’, as she says, where she rediscovered her voice and in the past couple of years has been learning songs ‘to bate the band’. She regularly performs at the Song Circle in Miltown Malbay and at the Wednesday night sessions at the Westbridge, also in Miltown. She recently contributed two songs to her husband Davoc Rynne’s debut album ‘The Humours of Ennistymon’, which will be available to purchase on the night.

There will be no songnight in March, as this would coincide with the St Patrick’s weekend celebrations; the next songnight will be on Friday, 19 April.

Anne Rynne
Anne Rynne




FANORE SONGNIGHT ON 16 NOVEMBER!
Fanore Songnights’ fifth season continues on Friday 16 November at O’Donohue’s Pub, Fanore, when Fear an Tí Michael Clerkin will welcome as our Special Guest traditional singer and master storyteller Paddy Hynes (pictured).

Paddy lives in Carron and is well-known locally as a regular performer at Cassidy’s Pub. He has also toured England with the Rambling House and performed in Germany with Corofin Comhaltas. Paddy’s CD ‘Tales from the Burren’ will be available on the night.

The songnight starts at 9.30pm and all singers are welcome.

We look forward to meeting you in Fanore on the 16th!
Paddy Hynes
Paddy Hynes


FANORE SONGNIGHTS: THE FIFTH SEASON!

Fanore Songnights’ fifth season will start on Friday 19 October at O’Donohue’s Pub, Fanore. Starting at 9.30pm, Bean an Tí Anna Carrucan will welcome as Special Guests Mike and Yvonne Mahar (see picture).

Yvonne, who is a visual artist, is originally from Limerick, while Mike hails from Albany (New York). They divide their time between New York and Lahinch, where they play regularly at sessions in Joseph McHugh’s and other venues.

Mike & Yvonne Mahar
Mike & Yvonne Mahar

Their repertoire focuses mainly on American blues and contemporary folksongs, including songs made famous by Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Robert Johnson and others, which they perform either solo or as a duo with Mike on guitar.

They contributed a fine version of ‘St James Infirmary Blues’ to the cd ‘A Night in Lahinch’, which was released earlier this year as a project to raise funds for ‘Fighting Blindness’. Copies will be available on the night, with all proceeds going to this charity organisation.

All singers are welcome, and we look forward to meeting you in Fanore on 19 October for what promises to be another exciting night in Fanore Songnights’ successful series!


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON 20 APRIL AT O’DONOHUE’S PUB!
The last Songnight of the 2011/2012 season will take place on Friday, 20 April. Bean an Tí will be Anna Carrucan and Special Guests are Martin Ryan and Josephine Boland from Kinvara, Co. Galway, where they are active members of the Kinvara Singers Circle.

Martin & Josephine
(Martin & Josephine)

Martin Ryan is originally from Dublin. While working in Athlone, he became a regular attender at the Tom McHale Folk Club there, picking up songs from singers such as Dolores Keane, Martin Carthy, Steve Turner and many others. He also sings in Irish, with a particular fondness for the sean-nós songs of Munster.

Josephine Boland is also from Dublin. As a set dancer with the Brooks Academy group, she travelled to festivals around the country for many years. She often attended the late-night singing sessions after the dancing, learning a large number of traditional songs in the process.

Together, they attend singing festivals all over Ireland, including the Góilín Singers Club’s annual Frank Harte Festival in Dublin. Their repertoire includes songs from the English language tradition and contemporary songs. They enjoy singing together, whether in harmony or in unison.

The songnight starts at 9.30pm, and all singers are welcome.

Also, Fanore Songnights will later this summer organise a concert by Seán Tyrrell at Vasco Restaurant, Fanore, to coincide with the release of Seán’s new CD, ‘Walker of the Snow’. Details of this event will be published in due course.


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON 17 FEBRUARY!
The next songnight at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore will be held on Friday, 17 February. Fear an Tí will be Michael Clerkin and our Special Guest will be John Tierney of Murtyclough, Burrin, Co. Clare.
John Tierney
John Tierney (photo by Kevin Byrne)

John has been a collector of songs for many years, specializing in songs about Gaelic sports, although – surprisingly – he only started singing himself about four years ago. His songs have been a regular and very popular feature at our songnights, so we are pleased to highlight John’s extensive repertoire on this occasion. Needless to say, this songnight will be of special interest to all fans of Gaelic football and hurling. The songnight will start at 9.30pm and all singers will be welcome.                                             

Please note that there will be no songnight in March, as this would coincide with the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The next songnight will be held on Friday, 20 April.

For more information about our songnights, please contact Patsy Carrucan (065 7076154), Willem Verhulst (065 7076244) or Pat O’Donohue (065 7076119).


FANORE SONGNIGHT ON 20 JANUARY 2012!
The first songnight of 2012 will take place on Friday, 20 January at O’Donohue’s Pub in Fanore. Our Special Guest will be Andy Guthrie of Lisdoonvarna. Andy was invited last year, but due to unforeseen circumstances that songnight had to be cancelled. We now look forward to another exciting songnight in our successful series, with a true master of the traditional singing style of West Clare and an excellent raconteur of humorous stories as our Special Guest. Fear an Tí will be Michael Clerkin, and the songnight will start at 9.30 pm. All singers are welcome, and we look forward to meeting you on the 20th!

Andy Guthrie

Andy Guthrie (photo by Kevin Byrne)


FANORE SONGNIGHTS: THE 4TH SEASON!

We are pleased to announce that the fourth season of songnights at O’Donohues in Fanore will start in October. First, on Wednesday 12th, the Fanore singers will be the guests of the Crusheen Singers Club at the Highway Bar in Crusheen. Starting at 10 pm, we are looking forward to a fine night of songs in a different location. To reciprocate, the Crusheen singers will visit Fanore for our November songnight at O’Donohues on Friday 18 November.

The first of the five songnights of the new season at O’Donohues (to be held on the third Friday in October, November, January, February and April) will see a very special guest: Fanore’s own John Joe Scanlon, who celebrated his 70th birthday earlier in October, will be the guest at our songnight on Saturday, 22 October, which will highlight his repertoire of songs, lilting and a few tunes on the tin whistle. John Joe is one of our fine local singers, whose songs include many old favourites such as ‘Gentle Mother’, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, ‘The Boston Burglar’ and many more. As always, all singers are welcome at this special event. 

John Joe Scanlon

John Joe Scanlon (photo: Kevin Byrne)

 

We look forward to meeting you on 22 October, when we will certainly raise a glass to celebrate the occasion! Or, to quote a verse from a song written in honour of John Joe a few years ago:

‘But now too soon an end must come to my small song of praise,


And it’s to John Joe Scanlon our glasses now we raise:
Long life, health and happiness may the future hold in store
For our friend John Joe Scanlon, who lives in sweet Fanore.’ 


FANORE SONGNIGHTS: A SHORT HISTORY

Fanore Songnights: a short history
by Willem Verhulst


In friendship's cause we've here combined
The night we've filled with songs and laughter
In unity our voices twined
And rung in harmony each rafter...


(Fred McCormick, The Sands of Time)

On a summer's night in 2008, I asked Patsy Carrucan on our way home from one of those excellent songnights in Shanaglish, Co. Galway, 'Why don't we have such nights in Fanore?'
'Why don't you organise one?' came the reply. I have always liked the format of the songnights at the Ennis Singers Club, so I got in touch with John Casey, who has been our excellent Fear an Tí ever since, and asked my good friend Tim Dennehy to test the waters and be our first ever special guest.

Pat O'Donohue, of O'Donohue's Pub, immediately agreed and a date was set: 14 November, the third Friday of the month, so as not to clash with songnights in Ennis, Shanaglish or Doonbeg. That first night proved a huge success; clearly we had met a demand for something that had long been missing from the area, and decided to proceed on a regular basis during the winter months. Our next guest was Seán Tyrrell, who attracted such a big audience that the bar proved too small and we had to move into the lounge. Since then, we have had Gerry Shannon, former Fanorian Eugene Lambe and his partner Caroline Hampshire and Peadar and Paula McNamara of the Ennis Singers Club as our guest singers, and it was of course a great honour to have the president of the Ennis Singers Club, the legendary Robbie McMahon of worldwide 'Spancill Hill' fame, singing at our most recent songnight as well.


All singers are welcome; usually we have between 20 and 30 singers, with Fear an Tí John Casey taking care that everybody gets a chance to sing or recite, often resulting in a varied night, with contributions ranging from traditional ballads to folksongs and hilarious recitations. O'Donohue's provide snacks and sandwiches during the break, so people who have travelled to be with us need not go home on an empty stomach! The songnights go from strength to strength, as was noted by The Clare People, and we hope to continue them for many years to come.

In addition, Vasco Restaurant has proved an ideal venue for more concert-like settings: in October 2009, Seán Tyrrell performed 'Message of Peace', the life story of John Boyle O'Reilly and his daring escape from the prison camp in Fremantle (Australia) on board the American whaler Catalpa, and on 28 May of this year Seán returned to stage his first solo performance in Ireland of 'The Midnight Court' (Cúirt an Mheán-Oíche), the infamous 18th-century poem by Brian Merriman (1745-1805). For this occasion, the restaurant had become a small theatre. After the introduction by Fanore's own Gerry Howard, Seán played all the different characters, slipping from one character into the next simply by changing a hat or donning a mask. It was a brilliant performance, and Vasco's was packed on the night!

Clearly, this was one of the main cultural events to take place in Fanore this year and we expect to stage more shows, concerts and performances at the restaurant in the future. Watch this space for detailed announcements of our songnights and other musical events!

On Saturday, 21 August 2010, the first ever Fanore Burren Half Marathon was followed by a songnight at O’Donohue’s. The songnight started a bit later than planned, but once Martin Driscoll had kicked off the proceedings with a rousing rendition of Rocks of Bawn, the evening got underway. Unfortunately, most of the runners and walkers had already left, so there were only a few singers from outside Clare. But it was good to hear two of Tim Dennehy’s songs performed on the night: Tim was of course our first guest singer and his presence has clearly struck a chord, for Patsy Carrucan gave us a fine version of Tim’s haunting song about the Chernobyl disaster, Farewell to Pripyat, while Fear an Tí John Casey contributed one of Tim’s finest songs, A Winter’s Tear. Also, this songnight saw the launch of a new song about Fanore, Village of My Childhood. The song, which was sung by Patsy Carrucan, mentions all the townlands and most of the places along the coast in the course of a dream-like journey by an imaginary narrator visiting the area after many years of absence. It was well received, and we hope to publish the lyrics, together with annotations explaining the origins and meanings of the Irish names, in a future update. If this song goes a little way towards preserving the local Irish names (such as Trawvealacahala and An Cloch Scoilte), it will have served its purpose.

The November 2010 songnight was a very special event: our guest singer was Helen Hayes, from Feakle in East Clare. Helen has a beautiful voice and sings with deep feeling for, and understanding of, the often highly emotional ballads about exile, famine and loss (she had introduced herself by saying 'I don't do funny songs'). Helen has performed in England, the United States and Australia; it was a real privilege to have such a distinguished singer as our special guest.

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