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'A Night of Notions' tonight in Ballyshannon

An eclectic mix of talented artists from all genres, some with strong Donegal connections

Paddy Meehan


Paddy Meehan



'A Night of Notions' tonight in Ballyshannon

A Night of Notions is on at the Abbey Arts Centre this evening.

Do you fancy ‘A Night of Notions’ at 8pm in the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon this evening, Thursday?

The brainchild of Maynooth University student Conor Cunningham brings together an eclectic mix of talented student friends, coming from all genres, some with strong Donegal connections, in an opportunity to perform and exhibit their talents on stage.

Performing as The Common Grounds Collective, they have successfully been touring venues throughout Ireland for the past two years.

As part of the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2017, this special several-hour evening of entertainment will certainly not disappoint.

‘Hatchlings’, featuring Conor, vocals and guitar, a native of Mountcharles, son of Deborah, principal soprano of ‘The Donegal Voices’, dad Gerry, popular local radio presenter. Pianist Anthony Travers, son of Olive, respected and well known in Donegal literary circles and broadcast writer, dad Anthony, very much involved in the south Donegal arts scene; drummer Darragh Brannigan with Jamie Bishop and Peter Kelly interchanging on vocals and guitars.

This young band is going from strength to strength, having played some of Ireland’s biggest summer festivals this year, including Body & Soul and Electric Picnic. Their music is an exciting mix of jazz, rock, blues and R&B.

‘Alfi’ brings together some of the country’s finest musicians, Allanah Thornburgh, Ryan McAuley and Fiachra Meek, who blend traditional Irish and old-time bluegrass songs through five-string banjo, harp and uilleann pipe.

Banjo player Ryan’s late grandmother was a Donegal town lady, while dad Jackie is a noted blues guitarist who wooed the fans with his unusual guitar riffs on stage at this year’s Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon.

Letterkenny cellist Claire Kinsella is one half of ‘LemonCello’, along with Laura Quirke on guitar.These talented young ladies write songs with weaving vocal harmonies that give their work a truly original sound.

The spoken word is well represented on ‘A Night of Notions’, where Kavanagh meets Kerouac, which describes the poetry of Cavan’s Stephen Clarke as he echoes the Irish masters with a sense of joy, pain and respect. Artist Grace Kiernan finds influence in Sylvia Plath for her effortlessly evocative works which are described as savoury, sweet and sometimes salty, but a welcome alternative to the dark shades that many others paint.