International visitors joined locals in celebrating Carrick-on-Suir’s Clancy Brothers Festival 

Aileen Hahesy


Aileen Hahesy

International visitors joined locals in celebrating Carrick-on-Suir’s Clancy Brothers Festival 

Members of the High Kings folk group performing at the Strand Theatre in Carrick-on-Suir during the Clancy Brothers Festival last weekend

Carrick-on-Suir celebrated the musical legacy of its most famous sons - the Clancy Brothers folk ballad group - with an array of concerts, street, pub and family entertainment over the June Bank Holiday Weekend. 

The town's 12th annual Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival was a resounding success attracting visitors from all over Ireland and as  far afield  as Canada and the US. 

Festival organisers reported most  of the shows were sell outs. Highlights included concerts by the High Kings and Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society in the Strand Theatre as well as concerts starring John Spillane and members of the extended Clancy family with Robbie O'Connell in Brewery Lane Theatre. 

The folk and trad musical entertainment extended to the streets and pubs of the town with young musicians vying for prizes in the festival's Youth Busking Competition on Saturday afternoon; ballad singers competing for the Eoghan Power Memorial Ballad Singing trophy in Figgerty's Pub last Thursday night and live music gigs in many of the town's pubs. 

The Harris Brothers Christopher (17) and Oliver (14) from Kilmeaden won the Youth Busking Contest's overall prize while the Comeragh Ceol musicians from Rathgormack won the Best Trad Group award. 

The Ballyneale Bops from Ballyneale received the Best Contemporary Group prize while Shauna Byrne from Owning won the Best Solo Act award. 

The Eoghan Power Ballad Singing contest was won by Martin Russell from Carrick-on-Suir and runner-up was Tim Quan also from Carrick-on-Suir. 

A large crowd enjoyed the Festival's Riverside Fun Day at Sean Healy Park on Sunday afternoon with the weather thankfully staying fine for the event, which featured river boat races, music and fun fair attractions. Earlier that day, walkers trekked along the River Suir Blueway between Carrick-on-Suir and Dovehill.  It was one of a number of walks organised for the festival. 

The Festival's trail of art exhibition was once again very popular with visitors and a Caravan of Love Stage toured the town featuring  performances by 30 artists, writers and musicians.