Macalla na hÉireann: 2008 Tour of Ireland

17 September 2008, 1:09 PM GMT

Macalla na hÉireann: 2008 Tour of Ireland

Macalla na hÉireann, the 2008 Comhaltas Concert Tour of Ireland visited 14 venues between the 12th and 25th of October. The annual Tour featured the best of traditional talent drawn from all four Provinces of Ireland.

Each year the Tour assembles a fine mix of established artistes together with up-and-coming young stars. These are blended together into a fast-moving and colourful show which appeals to both the connoisseurs and peripheral fans of Irish traditional entertainment.

The 2008 Tour was generously sponsored by:

Website - Foras na Gaeilge Website - Bus Éireann


Date Location Venue
Sunday, October 12th Monkstown Cultúrlann, Monkstown, Co. Dublin
Monday, October 13th Leixlip St. Mary’s GAA Hall, Leixlip, Co. Kildare
Tuesday, October 14th Gurteen Ceolarás Coleman, Gurteen, Co. Sligo
Wednesday, October 15th Kilnaleck Kilnaleck Hall, Kilnaleck, Co. Cavan
Thursday, October 16th Castleblayney Iontas, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan
Friday, October 17th Omagh Dún Uladh, Omagh, Co. Tyrone
Saturday, October 18th Belfast Stormont, Belfast, Co. Antrim
Sunday, October 19th Ennis Cois na hAbhna, Ennis, Co. Clare
Monday, October 20th Cashel Brú Ború, Cashel, Co. Tipperary
Tuesday, October 21st Tuar na Fola Halla Tadhg Gaelach, Tuar na Fola, Co. Luimnigh
Wednesday, October 22nd Lixnaw Ceolann Cultural Centre, Lixnaw, Co. Kerry
Thursday, October 23rd Freemount Freemount Community Centre, Freemount, Co. Cork
Friday, October 24th Clontarf Clasac, Clontarf, Dublin 3
Saturday, October 25th Navan Solstice Art Centre, Navan, Co. Meath


The 2008 Tour included the following talented traditional performers:

Name From Instrument
Jackie O’Connor Luimneach Bean a’Tí / Consairtín
Humphrey Murphy Corcaigh Amhránaí / Feadóg Mhór
Pádraig Sinnot Loch Garman Píob Uilleann
Oisín Morrison Átha Cliath Cruit
Darren Breslin Fear Manach Bosca Ceoil
Eamonn Moloney Luimneach Feadóg Mhór / Rinceoir
Nell Ní Chróinín Corcaigh Amhránaí
Caitríona Sears Átha Cliath Fidil
James Duggan Ciarraí Fidil
Eoin Ó Suilleabhain Luimneach Bainseo
Aoife Greene Gaillimh Consairtín
Aisling McMahon Clár Consairtín/Rinceoir
Clare McDermott Cabhán Rinceoir
Mark Nestor Clár Rinceoir
McElligotts Ciarraí Fuaim


Jackie O’Connor – Bean a’Tí / Concertina
Jackie, a Primary School Teacher from County Limerick, plays concertina and will act as Master of Ceremonies for the Tour. She is a member of Templeglantine Comhaltas and is also the Munster Provincial Youth Officer. Jackie is Producer and Presenter of Traditional Irish Music Programmes on West Limerick Radio. She is also a member of the “8 times” All Ireland champions, “The Carrigkerry Wrenboys”. Jackie was a Tutor at the 2008 Scoil Éigse in Tullamore and teaches music in Limerick and Tipperary.

Pádraig Sinnott – Uilleann Pipes
Pádraig is a renowned uilleann piper from historic Boolavogue in Co. Wexford. He also plays flute and administers the Comhaltas Archive in the Father Murphy Centre, Boolavogue. Pádraig has participated in many Comhaltas Concert Tours down through the years including Ireland in 2004, Britain in 2005 and North America in 1987 & 2005.

Caitríona Sears - Fiddle
Dublin based Caitríona is a highly talented young fiddle player having two All-Ireland plus two Oireachtas titles to her credit. She studied music at University College Dublin (UCD) and has toured Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Caitríona has been teaching fiddle for seven years and also tutors Grúpaí Ceoil ensembles.

James Duggan - Fiddle
James, who comes from County Kerry, has been a prizewinner on fiddle at many Fleadhanna events at County, Provincial and All-Ireland level. He has performed on Tours in both France and Spain with the University of Cork (UCC) Traditional Music Society. James has also performed with Siamsa Tíre – Tralee and is Youth Officer with Kerry Comhaltas. He is also a member of UCC Trad Society Committee, Féile Lios Tuathail and Producer of the Seisiún in Listowel for a number of years.

Eamonn Moloney – Flute / Dancer
From County Limerick, Eamonn is a veteran of Comhaltas Tours having taken part in the 2006 Tour of Ireland, 2007 Tour of Britain, 2007 Tour of America, Brú Ború Tours of China in 2007 and 2008 plus the Celtic Crossroads 2008 Tour of America. Apart from touring Eamonn has to his credit a degree in Irish Music & Dance from Limerick University (UL). He also plays flute with the Awbeg Céilí Band who represented Munster at the 2008 All-Ireland Fleadh in Tullamore.

Aisling McMahon – Concertina / Dancer
Aisling, who hails from the hallowed ground of traditional music in East Clare, is both a talented musician and dancer. She is currently studying Irish Music and Dance in UL and featured amongst the prize-winners at this year’s All-Ireland Fleadh in Tullamore in the senior concertina competition. Aisling has performed overseas at Festival Interceltique – Lorient 2007 and also with Brú Ború during their trip to Shanghai in 2008. She comes from a very musical family and her mother, Paula McMahon, is well known as a music teacher and Producer of the 2008 East Clare Seisiún in which Aisling also performed.

Clare McDermott - Dancer
Clare from County Cavan is a highly talented young dancer. She is very versatile and also plays fiddle and tin whistle. She took part in Siansa Gael Linn 2008 and her group became Ulster champions before going on to take third place in the All-Ireland finals of this competition. Clare toured Switzerland in 2008 with Martin Donohoe, one of her musical influences, who also include Pádraig McGovern and P J Flood.

Humphrey Murphy – Flute / Singer
Humphrey comes from County Cork and is a talented musician and singer. A former member of champion Céilí Band, The Allow, he has taken All-Ireland honours in Sean-Nós singing and also in Scór competitions. Humphrey is a TTCT qualified traditional music teacher. He toured in Pearl City, New York during 2008.

Óisín Morrison - Harp
Óisín is a Dubliner who plays both harp and Flute. He excelled at the 2008 Meitheal Summer School and was the Course nomination for a place on the Comhaltas Tour of Ireland. Óisín was also a member of the group who took first place in the All-Ireland finals of the 2007 Siansa Gael Linn competition. In 2008 he was a member of the Dublin Seisiún group who performed for the Cultúrlann na hÉireann shows in Monkstown.

Aoife Greene – Concertina
Aoife hails from County Galway and plays both concertina and piano. She is an exceptional young musician who has many All-Ireland titles to her credit including this year’s Senior and the 2007 Under 18 Concertina competitions. She also won the Under 18 Piano competition in 2007 and took second place at Senior level in 2008. Aoife toured America with her College Group in 2008.

Eoin O’Sullivan – Banjo
Eoin, from County Limerick, is a talented young banjo player who has won County and Munster Medals on the instrument. He also attained runner-up status in the 2006 All-Ireland Fleadh in Letterkenny and was a member of the Tuar na Fola All Ireland winning Group.

Darren Breslin – Accordion
Darren hails from County Fermanagh and is renowned for his unique style on the accordion. The 2008 All-Ireland Senior Accordion winner at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore, Darren is just as much at home playing in a street session or one of the many Summer music festivals. He’s a regular performer each year at the Eddie Duffy / Mick Hoy festival in Derrygonnelly.

Mark Nestor – Dancer
Mark, from Ennis in County Clare, is an excellent young dancer who has thrilled audiences in Cois na hAbhna both during the Summer Seisiún shows in 2007 and more recently with the 2008 Ceol na hInse Seisiún group. He toured in Germany with Janet Harbison and the Irish Harp Festival group. Mark also plays concertina.

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