Idir Dhá Sháile:  Aran and Connemara in Song

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Saturday 25th Sept | 3.00pm
Venue: Parish Hall, Main Street, Drimoleague
FREE - All Welcome

Entry to the special events is free but you must show proof of full vaccination or immunity to gain entry using either the HSE Covid-19 Certificate or vaccination card.

Featuring: Dr. Deirdre Ní Chonghaile, Sarah Ghriallais and Treasa Ní Mhiolláin

Ocean waves define the borders of the Aran Islands and Connemara, and yet these neighbouring Gaeltacht communities are united by a rich cultural heritage. Diving into a truly remarkable shared heritage of song, we hear an illustrated talk from author and musician Dr. Deirdre Ní Chonghaile on some of her work on Amhráin Árann (Aran Songs) an anthology of over 50 songs composed in the Aran Islands.


We also hear songs and stories from the renowned sean-nós singers Sarah Ghriallais from the peninsula of Muiceanach idir Dhá Sháile in Connemara and Treasa Ní Mhiolláin from Inis Mór.

A musician, broadcaster, and writer from the Aran Islands, Deirdre Ní Chonghaile (MA Oxon, PhD) is the co-ordinator of the on-going community-based project Amhráin Árann – Aran Songs. She was previously NUI Postdoctoral Fellow in Irish/Celtic Studies and Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at NUI Galway, Alan Lomax Fellow in Folklife Studies at the Library of Congress and NEH Keough Fellow at the University of Notre Dame. 

Originally from Muiceanach, Sarah Ghriallais has long been acknowledged as a sean-nós singer of exceptional talent, winning the coveted Corn Uí Riada award at the Oireachtas for the first time in 1984. That same prize has also been taken home by her son Michael, her sisters Nóra and Nan, and her niece Celia Ní Fhátharta. Sarah’s was a household full of singing and music-making and she credits her parents, Pádraig and Máire, and her wider family with instilling her first love of singing.  Sarah particularly remembers her teacher, Treasa Bn. Uí Chartúir as being important in her development. Some of the songs which are most associated with Sarah include ‘Sagart na Cúile Báine’, Condae Mhaigh Eo’, ‘Táilliúir an Mhagaidh’ agus ‘Eileanóir na Rún’.

Since the late 1960s, Treasa Ní Mhiolláin has been blazing a trail for sean-nós song and for the music of the Aran Islands. She was the first islander to make a name for herself as a professional musician, touring in Europe with De Danann, Clannad, Seamus Creagh and Jackie Daly in the 1970s. She won the first-ever Corn Uí Riada in 1972, and won that competition again in 1979. Her other awards include: Comórtas na mBan twice, three Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann titles, three Fleadh Cheoil na Breataine titles, Gradam Shean-Nós Cois Life, Gradam Chumar, Gradam Cuimhneacháin Tom Pháidín Tom, and Gradam Fhéile an Fhómhair (Inis Oírr). In 2010-2011, she served as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at the Centre for Irish Studies in NUI Galway. In 2012 she toured internationally with Druid Theatre Company on their production of Tom Murphy’s Famine. For nearly 35 years, she has been teaching sean-nós in the Aran Islands and beyond.