Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2019

The 47th Willie Clancy Summer School, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, Ireland. Saturday 6th July to Sunday 14th July, 2019.

Sráid na Cathrach, Co. an Chláir  6ú Iúil - 14ú Iúil.

Lectures and Seminars

All lectures and seminars will be held in the Community Centre.


Saturday 6th July

8.00 pm - Oscailt Oifigiúil/Official Opening by Brendan Mulkere, musician and tutor in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the University of Limerick.


8.30 pm - Breandán Breathnach Memorial Lecture:

‘The Trees They Do Be High’: Reflections on Tom Munnelly’s Legacy. Presented by Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin, Director Emeritus, The National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin.


Monday 8th July 3.00 pm

Lecture: ‘Sing Us Another Story’: The Transmission of a Local Song Repertoire across Six Generations. Presented by Dr John Tunney, lecturer in Heritage Studies at Galway - Mayo Institute of Technology.


Tuesday 9th July 3.00 pm

A tribute to Tony MacMahon. presented by Liam O’Connor, musician, tutor and researcher in Irish traditional music and folklore.


Wednesday 10th July 3.00 pm

Lecture: Paddy Conneely (c. 1800-1851): The Legacy of a pre-Famine Piper. Presented by Dr Jimmy O’Brien Moran, musician and lecturer in Irish Traditional Music Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology.


Thursday 11th July 2.30 pm

Lecture: Sliabh Luachra: 70 years of Radio Recording Visits (1948-2018) Presented by Peter Browne, musician, tutor and former producer/presenter with RTÉ Radio.


Saturday 13th July 2.30 pm

Lecture: John Kelly (1912-1989): Fiddle and Concertina Player. Presented by Aoife Kelly, musician, tutor and researcher in Irish traditional music and folklore. The lecture will be followed by a Tribute Recital from the Kelly family and friends.



Breandán Breathnach Memorial Lecture

'The Trees They Do Be High'

Reflection's on Tom Munnelly's legacy

Professor Ríonach uí  Ógáin


Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin is former Director of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin. She has published widely on traditional music and song and has also published a number of compact discs with accompanying booklets. Her most recent publication is The Otherworld: Music and Song from Irish Tradition jointly edited with Tom Sherlock which appeared in 2012.  She was editor of Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society from 2009 until 2018. She is currently a board member of the National Folklore Foundation


Tom Munnelly was one of the leading folksong collectors in Ireland towards the end of the twentieth century. He began collecting in Dublin the 1960s during the thriving ballad-singing environment. His talents did not go unnoticed and collecting was to become his livelihood.  In addition to the archival repository now found at the National Folklore Collection, UCD, he was a leading lecturer and writer on a number of aspects related to Irish traditional song and tradition.  His collegiality fostered an intellectual curiosity and exchange that encapsulated his drive. The talk will reflect on Tom as field collector, colleague and mentor.  This lecture will be presented on Saturday 6th July at 8.30 pm.



‘Sing Us Another Story’

The Transmission of a Local Song Repertoire across Six Generations.

Dr. John Tunney


John Tunney is the son of Paddy Tunney and the grandson of Brigid Tunney (nee Gallagher).  From childhood he has been singing the songs that have been passed down in his family since the 19th century. He lectures in Heritage Studies in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. His current research interests include the song repertoire of the Donegal-Fermanagh townlands of Tamur, Rushen and Mallybreen, and the folk collecting done by Peter Kennedy and Seán O’Boyle across the province of Ulster in 1952 and 1953. He is also engaged in a long term project to write a biography of his father Paddy Tunney.


Since at least the decade before the Great Famine,the three townlands of Tamur, Rushen and Mallybreen were home to a number of singing families. The Gallaghers, Meehans, Monahans and Tunneys, who ceilied in each other’s homes and who on occasion intermarried, between them carried a repertoire of over 100 songs. When the Second Folk Revival began after World War II, the carriers of this repertoire found themselves being recorded by Radió Éireann and the BBC and their songs show up on albums by Planxty, The Chieftains, Rita Gallagher, Altan, Dervish, Dolores Keane, Dick Gaughan, Steel Eye Span and many more. This lecture explores the creation and transmission of this local song repertoire since c. the 1830s to the present day, and will feature recorded and live performances by five generations of one family. It will be presented on Monday 8th July at 3.00 pm.













John, Paddy and Michael Tunney.

Prof. Ríonach uí Ógáin

Tom Munnelly

Photo: Liam McNulty

Brigid and Paddy Tunney in 1952.

Annie Meehan recording for the BBC in 1953.

Paddy Conneely (c. 1800-1851)  The Legacy of a pre-Famine Piper

Dr Jimmy O’Brien Moran


Dr Jimmy O’Brien Moran is a lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology. He has also lectured part-time at the University of Limerick and at University College Dublin. A piper’s piper, he first attended the Willie Clancy Summer School in 1975 and began teaching there in 1977. His academic interests centre around Irish traditional music manuscripts of the 19th century. He was awarded his PhD at the University of Limerick in 2006 and, during 2008, he spent five months at Boston College as a Fulbright Visiting Professor. He was President of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association (2015-2017).


This lecture examines the life and collected repertoire of Paddy Conneely (c.1800-1851), a professional folk musician, who attracted the interest of at least five prominent folk-music collectors and musicians including George Petrie, William Forde, Henry Hudson, William Elliot Hudson and Henry Robert Westenra, otherwise 3rd Baron Rossmore. His collected repertoire contains vocal and instrumental music, the latter comprising song airs and dance music, all of which confirms Conneely’s significance as a tradition bearer. This lecture will be presented on Wednesday 10th July at 3.00 pm.


Paddy Conneely

Photo: NPU

Jimmy O'Brien Moran

Photo: Tony Kearns

Sliabh Luachra: 70 years of Radio Recording Visits (1948-2018)

Peter Browne


Peter Browne is an uilleann piper who experienced first-hand learning from the piping of famous players Leo Rowsome, Willie Clancy and Séamus Ennis and others. His broadcasting career in RTÉ Radio was  as presenter and producer of music programmes with a strong interest in traditional Irish music, working on programmes including The Long Note and the Rolling Wave. He has always had a special interest in the musical tradition and players of Sliabh Luachra and made radio documentary programmes on the lives and music of Pádraig O'Keeffe, Denis Murphy, Julia Clifford, Johnny O'Leary, Paddy Cronin and more.


From the early Raidió Éireann Mobile Recording Unit visits by Séamus Ennis in the late 1940s and spanning 70 years since, there have been many radio recording trips to this very musical area on the Cork-Kerry-Limerick border. This lecture will describe some of these journeys and the broadcasters who made them with examples of the music they collected. There'll also be a link to the present day with guest musicians from the area onstage performing tunes from the distinctive Sliabh Luachra repertoire. This lecture will be presented on Thursday 11th July at 2.30 pm.


Peter Browne

Photo: Tony Kearns

John Kelly (1912-1989)

Fiddle and Concertina Player

Aoife Kelly


Aoife Kelly, John Kelly Senior's granddaughter, is a musician, web designer who has a special interest in Traditional Irish music research & folklore. She is currently undertaking a project that aims to collect archival material, both published and unpublished, pertaining to the music and life of John Kelly. All material will be freely available to the wider traditional arts community via an online platform.


The lecture will be about John Kelly, his life as well as his music. John was a key tradition bearer for the music of West Clare and brought this music to a wider audience throughout his life. As an exceptional performer on fiddle and concertina, a folklorist, archivist, teacher and collector, he was a pivotal figure within the traditional-arts community in the twentieth century. In the lecture, there will be information on John's family, early life, musical style & influences, life in Dublin, collaborations along with audio and video recordings of John talking & playing. This lecture will be presented on Saturday 13th July at 2.30 pm and it will be followed by a Tribute Recital from the Kelly family and friends.

John Kelly

Frances and John Kelly in their shop, The Horse Shoe, on Capel Street in Dublin.

Aoife, Leah, Mary, John Jr. and  Johnny Kelly.

© Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy 2019   Website: Tony Kearns