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Siamsa Tíre offers musicians opportunity to perform on stage

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Siamsa Tíre celebrates the diversity of traditional Irish music and has issued an open call for musicians to apply to perform at its monthly Trad Connections concert series.

Is there any sound as uplifting as the opening notes of a West Kerry set, a Sliabh Luachra slide, a barn dance from Clare, or any as moving as the melody of a sean nós ballad? Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland, recognises Irish traditional music as one of the richest and deepest seams of our cultural heritage. From the Chieftains and the Clancy Brothers to artists such as The Gloaming and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh today; our music is rooted in our past yet endlessly evolving as it plays with tradition in the present.

“We want to celebrate this with our Trad Connections concert series,” Siamsa Tíre’s Musical Director, Tom Hanafin, said.

“We want to introduce audiences to established local, national, and international traditional musicians as well as to up-and-coming acts while also supporting musicians by offering them an exciting opportunity to perform.”

Siamsa Tíre introduced this series in January 2020 just prior to the outbreak of COVID, hosting two very successful live concerts. Lockdown then meant there were few opportunities for musicians to perform.

“So, we continued with the Trad Connections series online and streamed these concerts showcasing different acts on the last Friday of every month,” Tom added.

Many well-known names have performed as part of Trad Connections to date. They include Lorraine Nash and 3 on the Bund, as well as Fergal Scahill, Ryan Molloy, Oracle, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Macdara Yeates, Conor Moriarty and Conor O’Sullivan, The Rising, Elle Marie O’Dwyer, Zoe Conway, John McIntire, Greta Curtin, Killarney School of Music and many others.

This month’s Trad Connections concert takes place this Friday (April 29) and will feature concertina player Greta Curtin, fiddle player Jessie Healy, and guitarist Darragh Curtin perform tunes from their vast repertoire of reels, jigs, slides, polkas, hornpipes, and more. The team at Siamsa Tíre is now looking for new voices to showcase.

“We plan to continue this series into next year and beyond. We have a limited number of slots available this year and we’re currently filling slots for 2023. We welcome submissions from local, national, and international musicians. It doesn’t matter if they are well-known or new to the stage; we will consider them for inclusion in the Trad Connection series.”

Anyone who would like to be considered can complete a submission form via www.siamsatire.com/events/folk-programme/trad-connections.

You can also immerse yourself in the many and varied styles of modern Irish traditional music by watching all of the Trad Connections concerts that have taken place to date on Siamsa Tíre’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/siamsatire.

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Bean in Killarney to cease trading due to rising costs

By Sean Moriarty A Plunkett St coffee shop has been forced to shut its doors due to the soaring costs of doing business. Bean in Killarney opened in late January […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Plunkett St coffee shop has been forced to shut its doors due to the soaring costs of doing business.

Bean in Killarney opened in late January 2021.

Last March it was named as one of the ‘Financial Times’ list of ‘Best Independent Coffee Shops in the World’.

It was just one of 30 coffee shops worldwide – and one of only two in Ireland – to make the list, which includes entries from world cities like Paris, London and Sydney.

Bean in Killarney is a sister café to Bean in Dingle which was set up by brothers Justin and Luke Burgess.

The local branch was managed by brothers Joey and Euan Boland, who are also from Dingle.

It was a popular coffee stop for locals and visitors alike but despite its popularity and accolades, the business could not survive the current economic climate.

“After two great years we have made the really tough decision to close Bean in Killarney,” said a company statement.

“We opened during the height of the lockdown with the hope that when all restrictions came to an end, the shop would kick off like the Dingle one did.

“However, 2022 brought about new challenges and unfortunately ended up being harder rather than easier. We are a family-run business and rapidly rising costs meant we traded less than we did during 2021’s numerous restrictions. We had hoped to ride out the storm, but it’s not possible to continue operating at a loss.”

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No stopping Joe as he reaches third in the world

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney man who finished third in one of the world’s most-difficult adventure races has not ruled out another attempt in an effort to win it. The […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney man who finished third in one of the world’s most-difficult adventure races has not ruled out another attempt in an effort to win it.

The Spine Race is a non-stop 431km course over mountains and moors in the North of England.

Lissivigeen man Joe O’Leary was given one week to complete the gruelling course but managed to complete it in half that time in 96 hours and 50 minutes to finish third overall – or four days and 50 minutes!

He ran almost non-stop through ice, knee-deep snow and a wind-chill factor of -15.

He survived on a total of 90 minutes sleep taken at short intervals at various way-points along the route.

Joe is no stranger to adventure racing.

In September 2019 he ran for 28-hours straight to finish the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a 160km race in the French Alps.

This time last year he finished third in the shorter Montane Spine Challenger Race.

On that occasion he completed the 173kms course in 30 hours but this year he returned to compete in the harder 431km event where his competition included professional athletes.

CHALLENGE

Joe and his fellow competitors set off from the start in Edale in the heart of England’s Peak District at 8am on Sunday, January 14.

Nearly one hundred hours later, just before 9am on Thursday morning (January 15), he crossed the finish line in Kirk Yetholm, a small village just over the Scottish border.

Along the way he was obliged to visit certain way-points or time controls and here he was able to change into fresh clothes, eat a dinner (or two) and grab a few minutes sleep before re-joining the course.

Outside assistance is strictly forbidden, and apart from the official checkpoints there are a few ‘approved’ private houses along the way that offer hot drinks and small meals.

Even bringing supporters is frowned upon – if a fan cheers for one racer they must cheer for all the racers – otherwise it is seen as unfair.

“This was my first time doing the long race,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was fantastic but totally unexpected to be on the podium. It was a strong field and first and second were pros…this is their job.”

Starting out in pouring rain the conditions soon turned to ice, snow and eventually waist-deep snow.

Volunteers fed competitors in scout halls or similar along the route and it was places like this Joe grabbed some shut eye – but not much.

“They really look after you. If you wanted two or three dinners to keep you going you could have them,” he said. “The problem is the clock does not stop. And the more time you spend at way points the more it will effect your results.”

Joe has no immediate plans but intends to visit Australia in May for a well earned holiday.

“I have entered a race in Sydney!” he added.

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