Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2018

The 46th Willie Clancy Summer School, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, Ireland. Saturday 7th July to Sunday 15th July, 2018.

Sráid na Cathrach, Co. an Chláir  7ú Iúil - 15ú Iúil.




A joint initiative, involving Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance  and Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy,  was  launched on the 30th November 2016 at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance by Nicholas Carolan, Director Emeritus of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.


The Blas Summer School (25th June - 6th July 2018), located in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at  the University  of Limerick, is linking up with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy  to offer students an  opportunity to extend their immersion in traditional music studies by enrolling in the Dúchas an Cheoil/ Scope of Irish Traditional Music  course at the Willie Clancy School (7th - 15th  July 2018)  This collaboration will offer students an accredited programme based at the University of Limerick and the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay.


This initiative will enable students to earn University accreditation worth 3 undergraduate credits (6 ECTS credits). Students wishing to pursue accreditation will be required to complete both the second week of Blas and the Scope of Irish Traditional Music Course at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy.


For more information on this Blas-Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy  accredited programme and application forms, please visit Or contact  Pamela Cotter, Director, Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. Email:   Tel: +353 61 202653



Over the past forty years the Willie Clancy Summer School has attracted thousands of students and followers of Irish traditional music from all over the world.  On average,  40% of the annual student attendance comes from overseas, with representation from over 30 countries, including the USA, Australia, Japan, Western Europe, Canada, Brazil, the UK and Russia.  Dúchas an Cheoil / The Scope of Irish Traditional Music course has been part of  Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy since 1986 and is directed by tutor-coordinators Paddy Glackin and Cathal Goan.  This six-day course introduces students to the essentials of Irish traditional music, song and dance, and fosters an awareness of the social, cultural and historical context in which the largest part of this musical tradition was created. The primary focus is on the listening experience and the course is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere where students interact with masters of the traditional arts. Many leading traditional singers, dancers and musicians have been guest performers at Dúchas an Cheoil over the years, and the student cohort reflects the international character of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy.


More details on the  SCOPE of  IRISH MUSIC course are on the Workshops page.

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Now approaching its 21st anniversary this international school of Irish traditional music and dance attracts students from all over the world who are typically musicians, singers and dancers,  already familiar with the Irish traditions,  who want to extend their technique, repertoire and knowledge therein. Blas acts as an incubator, and forms a space in which to improve musicianship, song, or dance technique, and to learn more about the stylistic, social and historic content of these traditions in a familiar educational campus setting.  It is an internationally accredited school and takes place for two weeks each June at the UL campus.

Dúchas an Cheoil/The Scope of Irish Traditional Music Tutors.


Paddy Glackin, a native of Dublin, is a noted fiddle player and exponent of the Donegal style of fiddle music, a tradition inherited  from his Donegal father.  He  has released a number of  solo albums,   collaborated  on  several  albums with leading traditional musicians, and  been involved in various seminal groups such as the Bothy Band, Ceoltóirí Laighean, LAPD, and, more recently, Usher’s Island. From 1980 to 1985 he served as Traditional Music Officer with the Arts Council.  His professional career was with RTÉ Radio where he worked as a producer, presenter and editor. He is currently on the Board of the Arts Council of  Ireland.


Cathal Goan, a native of Belfast, has a particular interest in the Irish language song tradition.  He  began his professional career with RTÉ, the national radio and television broadcaster, and was the first Director of the newly established Telefís na Gaeilge (TG4)  and later  Director-General of RTÉ.   In 2011 he was appointed Adjunct-Professor in the School of Irish Language, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics at University College Dublin. He served  as chairman of the Irish Traditional Music Archive  and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Ulster in recognition of his services to the Irish language and to broadcasting in Ireland.

Cathal Goan and Paddy Glackin.

Photo: Tony Kearns.

Pamela Cotter, Director of Blas at the University of Limerick.


Pamela Cotter is a dancer, choreographer and teacher from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In 2006 she moved to Ireland to pursue the BA in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and went on to complete the MA in Ethnomusicology at University College Cork. She is currently working on a research PhD at the University of Limerick. Pamela is also  a qualified Irish dancing teacher (T.C.R.G) with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha and lectures on both undergraduate programmes at the Irish World Academy.

Pamela Cotter.

 Photo: Maurice Gunning.

© Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2018   Website: Tony Kearns