7th Summer School 2017

Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School – 1st to 7th July 2017

The 7th Annual Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School was another huge success. The week started on Sunday, 2nd July with Aifreann Gaeilge in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kilmovee with some lovely words of encouragement for the week from Fr. Vincent Sherlock. The choir was in full voice and there were some lively tunes from local musicians with the Irish reading by Méabh Ní Chathasaigh to get the week of music, song, dance and Gaeilge started.

This was followed by a fascinating talk by Joe Byrne in the thatched cottage at Kilmovee Community Centre, on the world famous Kilmovee musician, titled ‘Dermot Grogan – The Man and The Music’.

Joe Byrne speaking in the Thatched Cottage in Kilmovee

It was a fascinating talk followed by a ‘cupán tae’ and some home baking courtesy of the ‘Cois Tine’ Heritage Committee and some tunes from local and visiting musicians. The evening ended with a mighty session in Finan’s Bar in Charlestown.

Local and visiting musicians in The Thatched Cottage in Kilmovee

Monday, 3rd July started with class registration in Kilmovee Community Centre with over 200 pupils registering from Australia, Canada, France, Spain, UK and all over Ireland.  They were all allocated to 25 different classes by 10am, in music, song, dance and Gaeilge. The staff of the Kilmovee Community Centre and the Family Resource Centre with support from the Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School Committee and volunteers from the area helped ensure everything ran smoothly for the week.

Le Chéile with tutors Cian & Caoimhe Kearins

On Monday night the Official Opening took place, with an outstanding performance by Gatehouse which included John Wynne, John & Jacinta McEvoy and Rachel Garvey.

Gatehouse at the Official Opening of The Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School 2017

This was followed by the ‘Cois Tine’ Heritage Night with local and visiting singers, dancers, musicians and storytellers ending a great day.

A lively Set at the ‘Cois Tine’ Heritage Night

From Tuesday to Thursday, morning classes continued from 10am to 1pm each day with afternoon classes from 2pm to 5pm. Many pupils chose to attend a class in their favourite instrument in the morning, stay for lunch in the Community Centre and then attend a class in Sean Nós Dancing, Comhrá Gaeilge, Traditional Singing or a second instrument in the afternoon.

Morning Classes at the Summer School


Afternoon Classes at the Summer School

Sessions were held each night, starting with Duffy’s Four Ways in Kilmovee on Tuesday night, Shazzy Mac’s in Kilkelly on Wednesday night and The Brusna Inn in Brusna on Thursday night. The sessions were led by local musicians and tutors starting at 8pm each night with a slow session, followed by the full session at 9.30pm. The quality of music, song and dance in the sessions from the pupils was commented on by many parents who were delighted to see their children getting this opportunity to play with other musicians. It was clear that the impact of classes through the year, followed by the annual Summer School, had started to come through in the great music, song and dance that everyone attending the sessions was treated to each night.


Slow Session in Duffy’s Four Ways, Kilmovee


Session in Shazzy Mac’s, Kilkelly


Slow Session in The Brusna Inn

On Friday, all the focus was on the Closing Concert which started at 7pm. Pupils and Tutors treated the packed hall to a wonderful night’s entertainment and again the standard of music, song, dance and Gaeilge on display was commented on by many people present. It brought to an end another great week in Kilmovee.

At the start of the concert, the Mayo Rose – Sandra Ganley, presented the Seosamh Mac Gabhann perpetual trophy and a hamper sponsored by Kilmovee Comhaltas to the winners of the Seisiún Tent Competition. This was a new competition where a group of two or more pupils was asked to perform one selection which could include music, song and dance in the Seisiún Tent during the week. All the entries were recorded on video and shown on screen before the concert started.

MI6 – Winners of the Seisiún Tent Competition

The week is only made possible by the work put in by the Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School Committee, the staff of the Kilmovee Community Centre and Family Resource Centre as well as Volunteers.

Funding is also an essential element to keep the Summer School going and this was secured with support from local politicians including Senator John O’Mahony, Councillors John Caulfield, Tom Connolly & Gerry Murray and Minister Michael Ring. Sponsors for the week were The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Comhaltas, IMRO, Mayo County Council and ETB.

Thanks also to all the Local Sponsors who included Towey’s Topaz Ballaghaderreen, Kilmovee Bingo, Durkin’s Bar Restaurant & Accommodation, Brusna Inn, All Seasons Florists, Ballaghaderreen & District Credit Union, Imelda Towey, Brian Mulligan, Padraig Mulligan, Fiddler’s Elbow, Newsround, Tarpey’s of Kilkelly and Rushe’s Shop, Kilmovee.

Of course the week would not be possible without the top class tutors and most importantly our pupils who we look forward to welcoming back again next year at the 8th Seosamh Mac Gabhann Summer School which takes place in Kilmovee from July 1st to July 6th 2018. Bígí linn!