Bunratty Folk Park embraces Fleadh

Bunratty Folk Park embraces Fleadh

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a traditional Irish session at the Village Street Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
a traditional Irish session at the Village Street Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is embracing the arrival of Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann to Ennis and County Clare by hosting a special “Fun with the Fleadh event”.

People are invited can jam with the Folk Park’s traditional Irish musicians, learn about the history of musical instruments, or just listen to good toe tapping Trad!

The event runs from the 11th to 21st of August from 10.00 a.m.  to 4.00 p.m. daily. People attending the Fleadh are welcome to join with the Bunratty Folk Park’s troop of traditional Irish musicians, many of whom are regular performers at the nightly traditional Irish dinner entertainment at the Folk Park’s Barn, who along with other musicians will take up residence in the various cottages around the Folk Park each day during the event. 

“Many of our Shannon Heritage team are wonderful musicians who share a love of traditional Irish music and we wanted to do something special to celebrate the Fleadh, says John Ruddle, Chief Executive of Shannon Heritage.

“We hope that this extra event to our normal programme of activities for visitors to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, will give Fleadh attendees a special memory.  Visitors will still be able to enjoy our 26 acre Folk Park and Castle experience where our costumed characters bring 19th century Ireland to life, but with a large sprinkling of Trad added for good measure.” 

musicians and dancers at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
musicians and dancers at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Visitors are invited to bring along their instruments and join in the action, hone their skills, pick up a few new tunes, or simply sit back and enjoy the lively sounds of the afternoon.

The secrets of a range of instruments from bodhrán and banjos, to tin whistles and fiddles will be unveiled and County Clare’s unique style of Trad which reflects the landscape of the
County will be shared. From the Burren to the Cliffs of Moher, the landscape of County Clare is imbued with a poetic quality that commands you to slow down, and breathe it all in.

Visitors will learn about the history of these instruments, the care that was taken in storing and maintaining them and development of the Irish traditional music scene. For example, the concertina, a small portable instrument has an interesting history.  It was a very popular instrument throughout the 19th century and was liberally and cheaply available – often found for sale in the local hardware shop next to hobnail boots and paraffin oil.

Made of delicate construction it was particularly favoured by women who were careful to look after it. It took pride of place especially in West Clare kitchens and the story goes it was stored in the inner wall of the hearth close to the open fire.

The highlight of this great family event will be a daily live seisiún at 2.30pm where visitors are invited to bring along their instruments and join in the fun. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is open from 9.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m.

To celebrate the arrival of the Fleadh special discount admission prices will be available from the 11th to the 21st August. A reduced price of €10 per adult or €25 per family (2 +4) is on offer for all Fleadh attendees who present one of the Fleadh events guides at the admissions desk to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. These free events guide can be picked up in Ennis at the Fleadh Cheoil Office in the Market Street, Glór Theatre and at Cois na hAbhna, Galway Road, Ennis. For more visit www.shannonheritage.com

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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