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John O'Neill Folk & Traditional Music Festival

John O'Neill Folk & Traditional Music Festival

Friday 23 & Sunday 24 September 2022

John O'Neill Folk and Traditional Music Festival returns for the first time since 2019. Now hosted over two evenings on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September 2022 with the magnificent Cherish the Ladies returning to headline the Friday evening whilst Bow Brothers and Breaking Trad in co-headline show on the Saturday evening.


Proceeds to John O'Neill Trust, to aid promotion of Traditional Irish Music in the Mid-Ulster area.







It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do.” says the Boston Globe speaking of Cherish the Ladies, the long-running, Grammy-nominated, Irish-American super group that formed in New York City in 1985 to celebrate the rise of women in what had been a male-dominated Irish music scene and has since toured the world, played the White House and the Olympics and recorded 18 critically acclaimed albums.


Under the leadership of the United States National Heritage Award winner and All-Ireland flute and whistle champion Joanie Madden, these ladies have become one of the best-loved Irish groups in the world. Their success rests on their unique blend of virtuosic instrumentals, beautiful vocals, traditional and original arrangements, stunning step dancing, all presented with extraordinary talent, creativity, and humor.


Cherish the Ladies are thrilled to be joined on this special evening by the majestic voice of Galway’s own legendary singer / song writer, Don Stiffe.


The New York Times calls their music “passionate, tender, and rambunctious,” and the Washington Post praises their “astonishing array of virtuosity.” They’ve won recognition as the BBC’s Best Musical Group of the Year and were named Top North American Celtic Group at the Irish Music Awards and not to mention having a street named after them in the Bronx!


They’ve collaborated with such luminary musicians as The Boston Pops, The Clancy Brothers, the Chieftains, Vince Gill, Nanci Griffith, Pete Seeger, Don Henley, Arlo Guthrie and Maura O’Connell as well as being the featured soloist with over 300 nights of symphony orchestras.


Time: 8.00pm








Cathal Hayden from Pomeroy, Co Tyrone is one of the biggest names on the traditional music circuit today. He is probably best known as the fiddler with Four Men and a Dog but also tours extensively with Mairtin O'Connor Trio and more recently with Christy Moore.


Stephen Hayden is regarded as one of the finest fiddle players of his generation. He has guested with many different bands but in recent years has become a full-time member of Four Men and a Dog.


Seamie O'Dowd: Rooted deeply in the traditional music of his native Sligo, Seamie has added his talents to many genres of acoustic and electric music. He has toured worldwide for many years with bands such as Dervish, The Unwanted and Mairtin O'Connor Trio. He is a much sought-after accompanist.


Breaking Trad is made up of Dónal Murphy (Accordion), from Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, a winner of numerous All-Ireland titles on both Button Accordion and Melodeon, David Doocey (Fiddle) from Foxford, Co Mayo, a winner of multiple awards including the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle competition and the coveted Fiddler of Oriel trophy and also Mike Galvin (Guitar/Vocals) who has vast experience working in a wide range of musical styles from Rock and Roll to Irish Traditional.


Between them, they have toured extensively around the world, performing at major festivals and music venues and touring with some of the biggest names in several different music genres including Four Men and a Dog, De Dannan, Dance star Michael Flatley, Sean Keane, Tim O Brien, Alison Krauss & Gráda and many more.


Their music has been described as 'Dazzling', 'unorthodox and unique', and 'high octane'. “Breaking Trad are reviving Irish music with a fresh and modern twist with powerhouse tunes and exquisite vocals.”


Time: 8.00pm





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