Big Trad Festival for Milltown*

*Milltown, Co.Galway

So this weekend my hometown, the beautiful little town of Milltown, Co. Galway is hosting a really great line up for the first ever PJ Conlon traditional music festival. The festival celebrates the life and music of one of Milltown’s most famous native sons and brings a wealth of traditional music, workshops and master classes to the village. This is an event well worth going to as it should be a huge amount of fun

PJ Conlon was born in Milltown in 1892. He came from a talented musical family and became an accomplished accordian player before emigrating to Manchester in 1909 and subsequently to New York in 1912, where he sucessfully broke into the recording business in 1917. He was among the first musicians in the USA, or anywhere for that matter, to record traditional rural Irish dance music commercially. In all, he made 52 record sides between November 1917 and March 1929 and his recordings are some of the oldest examples of Irish music in existence.


The whole town is no doubt in a heighted state of excitement as they welcome the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins for the official opening of the festival on Friday August 2nd at 8pm. The president will be accompanied by his wife Sabina, a native of Milltown, although she went to mass in Ballindine as I reliably informed.

Michael D and Sabina securing the Mayo/Galway border from  the Milltown side
Michael D and Sabina securing the Mayo/Galway border from the Milltown side

A host of well known national and local artists will perform at the PJ Conlon Festival in Milltown this year. Don’t miss John Faulkner, John Carty, Andrew McNamara, Una Ni Fhlannagain, Clare Keville of Clare FM and TG4, Charlie Harris, Brid Dooley (RTE), Maigh Seola, Maude Connolly and many more.
The ITMA will be recording proceedings of the weekend for the the Traditional Music Archive

There is a full line of events here

A very TG4 Christmas

This christmas was really bad in terms of television, very little to get excited about. RTE showed independence day on christmas day and I can’t believe they couldn’t come up with something better then that. Seriously, Who hasn’t seen it? The British channels weren’t much better, in fact the only station to come up with anything worth watching was TG4. As well as some interesting films they also showed some very good documentaries putting their rivals in montrose to shame. There were documentaries on Ray MacNally, Luke Kelly, Micheal O’Domhnaill, Brendan O’Hehir all of which were done to a pretty high standard. They can all be watched on the tg4 player under the documentaries tab here
Also on over the Christmas period on TG4 was “Michael D – Ras go dti an aras” which was directed by David Power and edited by James Dalton. I did some additional editing on this while they were in the flurry of shooting just to help David out as he was filming. It was a really exciting project to be involved with and it was a pity I couldn’t do more because of schedules but I really enjoyed the final product. James Dalton is one of the best editors we have in this country and it showed, it was really well put together and it was also beautifully shot by Philip Graham. If you get the chance you should check it out on the TG4 player.

UPDATE: The Michael D doc is repeated on Jan 5th at 9:30