Strokestown to host Féile Frank McGann from October 4th to 8th

The atmosphere at the Percy French Hotel was electric last Saturday night when RTE personalities, Kieran Hanrahan and Peter Browne arrived in Strokestown for a live broadcast of the popular Céili House radio programme. A large crowd gathered to take part in the show which featured a mix of Roscommon and Dublin based trad musicians. Performing under the name of ‘The Frank McGann All-stars’, the line-up included flute players John Wynne, Patsy Hanly and Aidan Shannon. Pauline Hanly and Rachel Garvey provided the singing with two beautiful songs, one of which was ‘as Gaeilge’. Dancing also featured prominently on the show with a skilful display from the local young Strokestown set dancers, who achieved third place at the All-Ireland Fleadh in Tullamore this year, getting the things off to a great start. Fiddle players Maurice (Mossie) Martin, John McEvoy and Shane Meehan provided a lively rendition of many popular tunes including the jig, ‘The Lark in the Morning’ and ‘The Rathcroghan Reel’, a particular favourite of the late Frank McGann. Kieran Hanrahan praised the organising committee for all their hard work in making the Féile so successful. He spoke to Brian McGann, a son of the late Frank McGann, about the festival and what events were planned for this year. Local Strokestown woman, Anne O’Connor, who is a key member of the organising committee, spoke to Kieran about the positive impact that the Féile had on Strokestown. She said that apart from the economic boost to the town, people looked forward to the Féile at a time when many of the festivals of the summer were long gone. ‘It gives us something to look forward to as the days are getting shorter’, Anne said. Other musicians taking part in the radio broadcast were Frank Kelly (piano accordion), Jacinta McEvoy (piano), and, on concertina, Breda Shannon, who, even at a young age, has many All-Ireland titles under her belt. Following the show, an ‘impromptu session’ took place at the Percy French Hotel and a very enjoyable evening was had by all who attended the event. Kieran Hanrahan and Peter Browne declared themselves ‘delighted’ with the programme and complimented the organisers for the high standard of music provided. Féile Frank McGann, which takes place from October 4th to 8th, will feature many of Ireland’s leading traditional Irish musicians, with recitals, workshops, competitions pub sessions and a monster Céili, all taking place over the course of the weekend. One of the highlights of the Féile will be the Saturday night concert at the Percy French Hotel, which features reformed trad group ARCADY. This group includes well-known artistes Johnny (Ringo) McDonagh, Rick Epping, Seamie O’Dowd and Patsy Broderick. Tickets for this event cost €20 and are available from the Percy French Hotel. Full details of this year’s Féile Frank McGann, are also available on the www.feilefrankmcgann.com  website.