This musical festival combined with the annual book festival just over the Barrow in Tinnahinch, Co. Carlow, the neighbouring village.
Some well known musicians performed at the Festival which opened with a gala concert in the historic Duiske Abbey, Graignamanagh.
Alec Finn formerly of the highly successful De Danann group from Galway opened the set with Mary Staunton. They were followed by the McCarthy family, who were raised in Haringey North London, but were encouraged to get into music by their father a native of Milltown Malbay. They played a variety of traditional jigs and reels and recalled stories of the Clancy week and their early experiences of seeing Seamus Ennis play fiddle as they spent their annual holidays in Clare and also Willie Clancy. The group consisting of three sisters and a brother, who later moved to America produced music of a very high standard and enthralled the audience that had travelled from nearby counties in addition to locals to see this concert in a marvellous medieval style setting but with modern comforts. Incidentally one of the McCarrthy family, Jacqueline, is married to piper Tommy Keane from Philip St., and they live in Galway. Later they were joined on stage in the second half of the programme by Mary Bergin of Galway, probably Ireland’s best tin whistle player according to Alec Finn, who played his mandolin in a set with her.
For the finale all the musicians got together on the altar to play a set in this near 800 year old abbey founded by the Cistercian Order, that has seen days of ruin in the past during the penal times but is now wonderfully restored.
There were many musical workshops over the weekend for those wishing to learn music and sessions in local bars. Sean Nos singing was one of the workshop themes.
The local Comhaltas were involved in some of the sessions.
The fine weather over the weekend boosted the number of visitors in the town. Graignamanagh is a fairly lively town in late September and in November they will have concerts again in the Church.