Concert: Irish Sean-Nós Song Session


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The Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures is pleased to host a concert event on Friday, November 15 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm at O’Rourke’s Public House with our special guests:

Celia Ní Fhatharta hails from Baile na hAbhann in the Connemara Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking region synonymous with the distinctly Irish singing style ‘sean-nós’ (old-style). Celia’s mother Kathleen is one of the famous Griallais sisters from Muiceanach in Connemara. In 2009, Celia completed her M.A. in Modern Irish on the song tradition of Connemara, from which her song repertoire is almost exclusively drawn. In 1999, Celia won Corn Uí Riada, the trophy bestowed on the winner of the prestigious sean-nós competition at the annual Irish language festival, Oireachtas na Samhna. Celia is well known for her distinctive versions of “Úna Dheas Ní Nia” and “Sagart na Cúile Báine,” both learned orally from her aunt Sarah Grealish, as well as “Neainsín Bhán” and “Bríd Thomáis Mhrucha.” She has released a debut CD entitled “Irish Traditional Sean Nós Songs.”

Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill was reared in an Irish-speaking district of Kells, County Meath, Ireland. Members of her father's family were native Irish-speakers from Donegal who relocated to Meath where Maighread, along with her sister Tríona and brothers, grew up speaking Irish and inheriting their father’s cultural traditions. Her father was a distinguished song collector and songwriter and her aunt, Néillí Ní Dhomhnaill, was also an authority on traditional songs. Maighread first rose to prominence as a key member of the musical group Skara Brae, comprised of Mícheál Ó Domhnaill (her brother), Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill (her sister), and Dáithí Sproule. Skara Brae specialized in Irish-languages song from their father’s native Rann na Feirste, County Donegal. She has since released several solo albums and toured the Midwest.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is an Irish Language Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant and peer tutor at the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures. Caoimhghín hails from Dundalk, County Louth. He is a current Ph.D. candidate in Nua-Ghaeilge at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, from where he graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law Degree in 2011. During his studies at NUI Maynooth, he was heavily involved in student activities and held the position of Irish Language and Cultural Officer in the Maynooth Students’ Union 2010-11. He was also the president of the Men’s GAA Club in 2012-13. He has taught in a number of secondary schools throughout Ireland and has also worked for Gaeltacht summer courses in Rann na Feirste, County Donegal, where he was once a student himself. He has a keen interest in Irish culture and music, and has played the uilleann pipes in various concerts throughout Ireland and Scotland.

Cathal Goan was born in Belfast and received his University education in University College Dublin where he qualified in Celtic Studies in 1975. He subsequently joined RTÉ, Ireland’s national public service broadcaster, as an archivist before becoming first a radio and then a television producer in Current Affairs. In 1990 he became Editor of all RTÉ’s television output in the Irish language and in 1994 he was chosen as the first Chief Executive of the new Irish language television service which was about to be established in Galway. Teilifís na Gaeilge – TG4 – began broadcasting in October 1996 and has gained widespread recognition for the inventiveness and variety of its commissioned programming. In 2000, he returned to Dublin as Director of Television Programming at RTÉ. In 2003 he was appointed Director General (CEO) of RTÉ, a position that he held until January 2011. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Ulster in 2006 in recognition of his services to the Irish language and to broadcasting in Ireland. He was appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of Irish Language, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics in UCD in 2011. He has a life long interest in Irish music, especially the Irish language song tradition.

Micheál Ó Conghaile is an Irish language writer who was born in Inis Treabhair, Galway. He established the publishing company Cló Iar-Chonnachta (CIC) in 1985 and the company has since published over 300 books and 200 traditional Irish music albums and spoken word albums to date. His short stories are collected as Mac an tSagairt (Gallimh, Cló Iar-Chonnachta,1986); An Fear a Phléasc (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1997), An Fear nach nDéanann Gáire (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 2003); and The Colours of Man (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 2012), and his novels include Sna Fir (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1999) and the novella Seachrán Jeaic Sheáin Johnny (Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 2002). His awards include the The Butler Literary Award of the Irish American Cultural Institute (1997); the 1997 Hennessy Literary Award for his short story Athair; and he was also awarded the Hennessy Young Irish Writer of the Year Award. His works have been translated into various languages, including Romanian, Croatian, Albanian, German and English.