Ballinasloe ‘will be alive with traditional music and culture!’

Ballinasloe, Co. Galway will be alive with traditional Irish music, culture and heritage from Friday, 9th to Sunday, 11th of September for Féile Cheoil Larry Reynolds.

  Larry Reynolds was a native of a townland close to Ballinasloe who, like so many of his time, emigrated to Boston in 1953. Over time he became a highly influential fiddle player, not only for his east Galway style but also because of the contribution he made to Irish culture in Boston and all over North America.

  After Larry passed away in 2012, a committee came together in Ballinasloe to commemorate him and the Festival was established in 2014. Now in its 3rd year, the festival has grown and is fast becoming an important event on the trad calendar.

  The Alan Kelly Gang with Eddi Reader will open the festival with a concert in Ballinasloe Town Hall on Friday, 9th of September. A blend of Scottish and traditional Irish vocalists and musicians, they have left audiences spellbound. It promises to be a spectacular night of the best of Celtic music and song. Tickets are €15 and can be bought online at www.larryreynoldsweekend.com, tel: 087-9046140 or from The Pillar House, Society Street.

  The rest of the weekend boasts a packed itinerary including trad music, song and Sean Nós dance workshops by some of the finest tutors in the country. The workshops will finish with a ‘Tutors’ Recital’ and will be followed by an ‘Irish Music Pub Trail’ through a number of venues in the town. During the afternoon there will be a Lecture on ‘The East Galway Style of Music’, presented by Vera Craughwell in the Convent Gallery of Ballinasloe Library. This is sure to be a most interesting event and will conclude with some tunes from Vera and other local musicians. Presentations will also be made to the winners of the Schools Art and Poetry Competitions. 

  There will also be on-street craft exhibitions which will include wood turning, a tinsmith and a straw and basket weaver, to mention a few. There will also be an historic walking tour of Ballinasloe, historically a planned town which was built and developed by the Earls of Clancarthy on the River Suck which traditionally was the crossing point into the West of Ireland.

  Sunday will see one of the weekend’s highlights – The 1st Larry Reynolds Open All-Ireland U-18 Fiddle Competition will take place in Scoil an Chroí Naofa on Society Street. With a prize fund of €250 and a Perpetual Cup for the winner, which will be presented by Larry Reynolds Jnr from Boston, the competition is certain to be high. 

  Other events on that day include Mass with local trad musicians, a singers circle event in The Pillar House, a Céilí in Hayden’s Hotel with the Glenside Céilí Band, a junior seisiún in The Dunlo Tavern, a concert by the newly formed trad group – Gatehouse, who have just released their 5* (Irish Times) CD, Tús Nua, and there will no doubt, be many open seisúin during the day and indeed, throughout the weekend. 

Ballinasloe will be alive with trad, don’t miss it.

Further details and tickets can be found on www.larryreynoldsweekend.com 

email: info@larryreynoldsweekend.com. Tel: 087-9046140.