With just four weeks to go from today the fourth annual Iúr Cinn Fleadh kicks off in Newry from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th September and already with one of the gigs, well on it’s way to being a sell out, it’s gearing up to be the most memorable yet, with many new events destined to attract even more visitors to Newry city.

Legendary De Danann singer Eleanor Shanley has been on the trad scene for many years and she will join local group Cuig for a concert on Friday 8th at Live at the Market for an outstanding night of song and music.

Once again the bars in Newry will be alive with music and crack with the annual Trad Trail bringing the best musical talent to the city on the Friday and Saturday night of the fleadh.

Eleanor Shanley
Eleanor Shanley

A new event for this year is the first performance of the newly formed Newry Trad Youth Orchestra on Saturday 9th at Riverside Church. The orchestra comprising over 40 young people was formed during the summer following a call out from Iúr Cinn Fleadh for local musicians. Under the musical direction of renowned local musician, Ursula Byrne. It promises to be a spectacular expose of our local young incredibly talented musicians.

As part of the fleadh’s mission to showcase local talent this year they have launched their inaugural Musical Icon Award which sees local fiddle supremo Jimmy Burns receive the award at a function in Bellinis on Thursday 7th.

Another addition will see Carlingford Lough Curragh Club host a music session on their Currach’s on Newry Canal on Sunday 10th outside the Canal Court.

Fleadh committee member Columba O’Hare said “This year we believe we have produced the largest, most exciting and varied programme of events ever for Iúr Cinn Fleadh, a programme that will bring so much life and energy to Newry City on the second weekend in September. As a committee member it’s a privilege to be involved with a team that are here for the long haul, an incredibly talented team that are determined to put Newry on the world festival map.

“I’d especially like to thank volunteer Johnny Savage for his professional design and speedy production of our fleadh event guide, poster and billboards. I’d also appeal to Newry people to support and take ownership of Iúr Cinn Fleadh and help revitalise Newry for everyone”

The popular Trad Cruises are back once again on Newry Canal with Armagh and Down musicians joining musicians from London, Louth and Wicklow to play a variety of gigs on the tall ship Soteria, journeying to Victoria Lock and back, with passengers enjoying a few glasses of wine or soft drink refreshments as part of the package.

Kevin McAleer provides the comedy once again at the Fleadh on Thursday 7th with his Saying Yes to Yes tour bringing “meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, bananarama yoga, bee venom therapy, psychic flower arranging, singing with dolphins and weight loss through levitation.” to Live at the Market.

Sticky Fingers are hosting several Fleadh events at their new premises in Edward Street with an Irish Myths and Legends Stories and Song Session on Thursday 7th.

Bodhrán and Tin Whistle Workshops are on offer on Saturday 9th with Bodhrán tutors Fergal O’Brien and Réne de Kat and Tin Whistle Tutor Oisin McCann in residence at Newry Library.

Cuig will perform with Eleanor Shanley at Live in the Market as part of the Fleadh on Friday 8 September.
Cuig will perform with Eleanor Shanley at Live in the Market as part of the Fleadh on Friday 8 September.

For the more energetic type on Saturday 9th Newry Rowing Club will offer a free rowing experience on the canal outside The Quays while on the Sunday Carlingford Lough Curragh Club will be giving free trips on the Canal from outside the Canal Court. Newry Rowing Club will also be holding a rowing marathon on the Sunday covering 26 miles back and forward between the Quays and the Albert Basin.

The Trad Cruise on tall ship Soteria is one of the highlights of the fleadh. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
The Trad Cruise on tall ship Soteria is one of the highlights of the fleadh. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Other events include Richard Alexander and Eilidh Patterson, Riverside Church; A wonderful night of food and music from Briege Quinn and Finbar Magee in Finegan and Son; The Scratch bring rock to trad at Bellini The Caroline Session at the Canal Court and a great night of storytelling and song at the Railway Bar. With well over 60 events billed for the weekend there will be no shortage of entertainment in Newry that weekend.

Thanking the sponsors of Iúr Cinn Fleadh committee member Neil Bradley commented “ As each year passes it is great to see additional Sponsors support Iúr Cinn Fleadh and endorse what Newry 2020 as a group is trying to do, i.e. bringing more life to Newry. We are indebted to our main sponsor Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as well as the Canal Court Hotel, Newry BID, Buttercrane Shopping Centre, Newry Credit Union, Bellinis, Social Clix.biz, Netcare and Newry.ie Without them the event simply wouldn’t happen”

Ticketed events are selling fast and Tickets can be bought at www.iurcinnfleadh.com or via Buttercrane Help Desk at Buttercrane Shopping Centre. Event guides are also available from many shops and premises throughout Newry and surrounds.