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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Seán Keane in concert at Roscommon Arts Centre this July




Seán Keane makes a welcome return to Roscommon Arts Centre on Friday, July 12th at 8 pm.

  Seán is considered by many to have one of the most distinctive voices in Ireland and nothing is more important to Sean than playing a tune well and singing a song as it should be sung. Although heavily influenced by traditional styles and values, Seán cannot be categorised simply as a traditional singer. Whether the songs are traditional, folk, country or blues, he applies a unique voice and individual style that you will never forget.

  On the night, Seán will be accompanied by Pat Coyne and Fergus Feely, and together they will perform many of Sean’s classics like ‘Isle of Hope Isle of tears’, ‘Home Away From Home’ and ‘Galway to Graceland’. He will also be singing some of the new songs from the ‘Gratitude’ album that he recorded in 2018 with the RTE Concert Orchestra.

  Tickets are on sale now from Roscommon Arts Centre’s box office on 090-6625824 and from www.roscommonartscentre.ie



Boyle to host 30th annual Arts Festival!



Over 50 events from July 18th to 27th


Boyle Arts Festival 2019 will be officially opened by Professor John Crown in the grounds of King House on Thursday, July 18th and the evening will be celebrated with street theatre from Curious State and live music from Me & The Lads, featuring Zoë Conway. The 30th annual festival will run until Saturday, July 27th.

  With over 50 events, including an impressive mix of live music, visual arts, opera, drama, film, comedy, interviews, workshops, storytelling, children’s events, poetry, readings and much more, Boyle is the place to be this summer! Tickets for the majority of our events are now on sale through www.boylearts.com.

  Some of the big names to watch out for in the live music genre include The Riptide Movement, The Blizzards, Tommy Fleming, Kieran Goss with Annie Kinsella, Mary Coughlan, The Whileaways,  The Swing Cats, Charlie McGettigan with Paul Harrington, Mules and Men, Flo McSweeney, Fiachra Trench and Carmel McCreagh. Watch out for gigs by local bands Fleetwood Craic and The Martyrs and exclusive album launches from Pete Higgins and Mossie Martin.

  The classical music programme will include ‘Storyteller: Fairytale to Tearjerker’ with soprano,  Emer Barry, tenor Eoin Hynes, pianist Niall Kinsella and violinist Lynda O’Connor, a very special performance of ‘La Boheme’ by the Harlequin Opera Company in the grounds of Boyle Abbey. The RTÉ Contempo Quartet will be joined by the Choir of St. Joseph’s Church for a unique concert in the Church of Ireland. Also look out for classical music performances by Michael McHale and Patrick Rafter during BAF 2019 along with our acclaimed series of lunchtime and coffee concerts.

  A specially commissioned tradional piece entitled ‘Portal’ will celebrate the first 30 years of BAF, with a performance by Cathy Jordan, Vincent Woods, John Carty and Siobhán Cleary on Saturday, July 20th.

  The beautifully restored King House will as always, house the centrepiece of Boyle Arts Festival – the main Visual Exhibition. Curated by Paul McKenna, the theme this year is ‘Legacy – 30 years of Boyle Arts Festival’ and the exhibition features almost 100 of the very best artists from all over Ireland. Several other exhibitions, including the highly acclaimed Local Artists Exhibition, will take place during the festival and details will be available in the programme and local press.

  Watch out also for interviews with David Norris, Carole Coleman, Horslips legends Jim Lockhart and Barry Devlin, spoken word events with Pat McCabe, Eoin McNamee, The Naggin of Knowledge, Moylurg Writers, Paul Connolly, Jane Clark and Brian Leyden, local interest readings, lectures and guided tours from Frank Tivnan, Barry Feely, Mary Timoney and Tony Conboy.

  There will be outrageous comedy from Alison Spittle, drama from John McManus, Beezneez Theatre Company and The Breffni Players.

  For children there will be hip hop, fashion and art workshops, storytelling with Maria Tivnan, drama from Beluga Theatre, the always-popular Exploration Dome, Town treasure trails and lots more.

  For more information on Boyle Arts Festival 2019 please visit www.boylearts.com/email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow BAF on Facebook and Twitter.

  Boyle Arts Festival acknowledges the support of the Arts Council, local businesses, Fáilte Ireland and Roscommon Co. Council.







Donamon Castle to host Family Picnic Day





25th annual open day on Sunday, July 28th


There was a good turnout for last Wednesday’s (3rd) launch of the annual Family Picnic Day at Donamon Castle, which will take place on Sunday, July 28th.

  In his opening address, MC Sean Beirne said that this was an important year for the picnic, it being the 25th anniversary of the event as well as the 80th anniversary of the arrival of The Divine World Missionaries to Donamon. He singled out Fr. Norman Davitt SVD, who was present, as being the first novice to arrive at the castle in 1939. He also paid tribute to his fellow committee members, Roscommon County Council and to Danny Burke of Castlerea, who had been MC of the event since it began.

  Special guest, Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice described the castle as a “unique location which deserves to be supported and maintained”. He also praised the committee for their dedication.

  Fr. Norman Davitt recalled his first day in Donamon having arrived by boat and train to Donamon Station from Birmingham on the very day that World War Two broke out. He mentioned how tough it was with the castle being in very bad repair and then having to cope with the sudden death of Fr. Ignatius Huelmeier so shortly after his arrival. But with help and donations ranging from food to furniture the novitiate was up and running on September 8th 1939.

  Those in attendance also heard from speakers such as Cllrs. Tony Waldron and Ivan Connaughton as well as Danny Burke.

  Sean Beirne then concluded by highlighting how events such as the Donamon Picnic Day contribute to tourism in the area. He wished neighbouring Athleague well in their Pride of Place competition, while also expressing best wishes to Ballygar Carnival and Ballintubber Heritage Festival which are both set to take place in coming weeks.


Emer Barry to headline Classical programme



One of the headline classical artists at this year’s Boyle Arts Festival is soprano Emer Barry, right. Emer will be joined by tenor Eoin Hynes, pianist Niall Kinsella and violinist Lynda O’Connor for ‘Storyteller – Fairytale to Tearjerker’, a celebration of stories and song, told through different genres of music. This concert will take place in the Church of Ireland on Friday, July 26th.

  The cloisters of Boyle Abbey will be used for an Opera Gala Performance of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ by the Harlequin Opera Company, on Saturday, July 27th. Starring the cream of Irish operatic talent, the concert will be headed by tenor David Lynn, with sopranos Sandra Oman and Deirdre Masterson, baritone Simon Morgan and bass Rory Dunne. Under the musical direction of David Wray, this will be a spellbinding experience for all romantics at heart.

  Please note that seating is not provided and the audience is asked to bring low-backed seating or blankets. Tickets must be purchased in advance for this event.

  The ConTempo Quartet will join the Choir of St. Joseph’s Church for an evening of enchanting music in the Church of Ireland on Thursday, July 25th. Featuring cellist Adrian Mantu, violinists Ingrid Nicola and Bogdan Sofei along with Andreea Banciu on viola and the Musical Director of the choir, Anne Kielty on piano, the fifty member, four part choir will perform some well known classical pieces.

  Belfast-born pianist Michael McHale will make a welcome return to Boyle Arts Festival, where he will be joined by violinist Patrick Rafter for an evening concert in King House on Wednesday, July 24th. Their programme will include music by Mozart, Debussy, Ravel and Franck.

  The always popular King House lunchtime concert programme will include performances by Trombonist Kieran Sharkey, joined by Jack Cullen on Tuba on Friday, July 19th, soprano Ami Hewitt and tenor Oisín Ó Dálaigh on Tuesday, July 23rd, harpist Luke Webb and flautist Jack Hennessy on Wednesday, July 24th, TU Dublin junior pianists Lucy Byrne, Peter Ryan & Gerry Yang on Thursday, July 25th, pianist Aoife Moran will be joined by Christina Ryan on clarinet on Friday, July 26th and a coffee concert will feature pianist Didzis Kalnins on Satruday, July 27th at 11 am.

  Tickets for several of these events are now available online, through www.boylearts.com.