Music to delight and excite at Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival

The 12th annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival, which kicks-off next weekend has assembled one of its strongest music programmes yet and is set to delight local audiences and visitors alike when it kicks off next weekend.

The 12th annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival, which kicks-off next weekend has assembled one of its strongest music programmes yet and is set to delight local audiences and visitors alike when it kicks off next weekend.

Among the many artistes appearing will be Scullion, The Henry Girls, Session Americana, The Wild Herrings, The Ragamuffins, a Sunday Miscellany live recording that will include Fidil, Seamus McGuire and Garry O’Briain, Donegal Camerata String Ensemble and Doimnic MacGhiolla Bhríde as well as a Donegal Fiddlers Gathering celebrating its 30th.anniversary with a gala concert featuring performances by Danny Meehan, Vincent Campbell, Tara Connaghan and Derek McGinley, Ingebjor Sorboen and Paul Anderson, among many others.

Festival Double with Scullion and The Henry Girls

Always keen to give audiences both top class shows and value for money, The Festival, in association with Balor Arts Centre, is delighted to present Scullion’s first Donegal show in over 20 years, in a special double bill programme with Malin’s finest, The Henry Girls. The show takes place on Saturday night, September 29 from 8.30pm.

Led by Sonny Condell, considered by many to be among Ireland’s very best songwriters, the band also includes Philip King, who in recent years has become particularly well known as a film and television producer whose credits include Bringing It All Back Home and the hugely successful Other Voices music programme, which for the past 10 years has brought a selection of the finest artistes performing today to the famed St. James’ Church in Dingle. Philip is also presenter of RTE Radio 1’s very popular Sunday night music show. The South Wind Blows.

Three decades on from their formative gigs together, Scullion’s music is as appealing as ever. Fans of the band – of which there are a legion – can expect to hear a selection of classics including Eyelids Into Snow, Down In The City, White Side of The Night, Driving, John The Baptist and more - plus material from Scullion’s brand new recording, The Long Wave.

This fantastic Festival Double Bill is completed by The Henry Girls – the three McLaughlin sisters from Malin - who have spent most of this year touring and performing in Ireland, Germany, the US and, most recently, the UK. Their current CD, December Moon, which was recorded last year in Glasgow and Inishowen, showcases their inimitable blend of stunning vocal harmonies with traditional Irish and Scottish, Jazz and Oldtime American music.

Tickets for Scullion and The Henry Girls are Now Booking at the Balor on 074 9131840.

Boston’s Finest in Dunkineely

Prior to their headlining appearances at the Cork Folk Festival, Boston band Session Americana make a welcome return to Donegal, when they play McIntyre’s Bar in Dunkineely on Thursday night, October 4th. from 8.30pm.

A huge hit at last year’s Earagail and Galway arts festivals, they perform as guests of Coiste Cultúrtha Dhún Cheann Fhaola, a collective of local musicians and music enthusiasts who have presided over a series highly succesful traditional music concerts and events in Dunkineely over the past twelve months.

Appropriately enough, Session Americana first came together in Boston in 2003 around the idea of applying the informality and sponteneity of an Irish traditional music session to the playing of American Country and Oldtime music and song. As such, Session Americana’s live shows are now more akin to a family gathering of musicians, seated round a table swapping tunes, than to a formal, staged performance.

The band includes Ry Cavanaugh (guitar, mandocello, vocals), Billy Beard (drums/vocals), Kimon Kirk (bass/vocals), Jim Fitting (harmonica/vocals) and Dinty Child (fiddle, banjo, guitar, accordion, keyboards, vocals).

The Wild Herrings in Livestream World-Wide Broadcast !

From the mid to late 1980s, Ballyshannon band The Wild Herrings were among the most exciting young bands playing in Ireland, thanks to a clutch of highly original surf punk tunes like Buy Me A Drink, Fat Politicians, Crash and Burn and regular airplay on shows like Radio 2’s Dave Fanning. You can still enjoy their music on

Now, the band’s eagerly anticipated Festival performance at The Kicking Donkey in Bundoran on Thursday night, October 4 will be made available to a worldwide audience via Livestream technology. Viewers should log on to this web address - - between 10.00pm – 12.00 midnight ( 22.00hrs – 24.00hrs GMT ) to enjoy the show.

Alternatively, you can log on to the Livestream website and follow the venue directions to ‘Kicking Donkey’.

The Wild Herrings will be joined on the night by brilliant local reggae band The Raggamuffins who have build up a hugely popular Thursday night residency at the Bundoran venue over the summer months. Fronted by singers Fiona Maria Fitzpatrick and Roisin Atcheson, the six piece band perform a range of material from the likes of Toots and The Maytals, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley, among others.

The show starts at 10.00pm and Admission is FREE so its advisable to arrive early !

Music at Sunday Miscellany

For over four decades, RTÉ Radio’s Sunday Miscellany has been at the heart of the Irish Sunday morning. Its distinctive mix of brand new short essays and poetry presented on air by their authors and interspersed with music, makes hugely welcome return visit to The Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon on Sunday afternoon, October 7 at 3.00pm where two editions of the iconic radio programme will be recorded for future broadcast.

Among the music artists and ensembles participating in Ballyshannon will be Fidil, Seamus McGuire and Garry O’Briain, Donegal Camerata String Ensemble and Doimnic MacGhiolla Bhríde.


Fidil are Ciarán ó Maonaigh from Gaoth Dobhair and Aidan O’Donnell from Dunkineely - both recent recipients of TG4’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award – and Damien McGeehan from Ardara. Both of their recordings to-date, Three and The Old Wheel of Fortune , were accorded Album of The Week status by The Irish Times.

Doimnic Mac Ghiolla Bhríde

Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde, an acclaimed singer and musician from Gaoth Dobhair, won the prestigious Corn Uí Riada in 2009, the highest accolade in Ireland for sean-nós singers.

Seamus McGuire

Widely regarded as one of Ireland’s most versatile and accomplished fiddle players, Séamus McGuire is originally form Sligo but has lived and worked for many years in Donegal. A founder member of the West Ocean String Quartet , he also performed for many years with the acclaimed traditional group, Buttons and Bows with his brother Manus, Jackie Daly and Garry O’Briain. His solo recording The Wishing Tree is regarded as a career highlight

while The Missing Reel, his duet album with flute-player John Lee, is a treasure trove of almost-forgotten Leitrim music for fiddle and flute.

Donegal Camerata String Ensemble

Led by Spanish cellist Victor Yélamo, the Donegal Camerata String Ensemble is an ensemble of locally-based, professional string players including Orsolya Szabó-Yélamo ( violin ), Lucy Spacirova ( viola), Michael McGinty (double bass) and Claire Cunningham (violin). Their ‘Sundays in Conwal’ concert series at Conwal Parish Church, Letterkenny has been a tremendous success for them this year and they have also performed as part of the Earagail Arts Festival and the Patrick McGill Summer School.

Admission to the very popular Sunday Miscellany recording at The Abbey Centre is FREE, but Advance Booking is Advisable, Please Tel. 071 9851375.