Preview of Concerts at Triskel Christchurch, Cork Folk Festival 2023

                                                          Triskel Christchurch Gigs at Cork Folk Festival 2023


Thursday 28th September

                                                                                     Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

Triskel Christchurch 8pm Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh Trio with Donal O’Connor, Gerry O’Byrne plus Tionól with Eoin Stan O Sullivan, Derek Hickey, Lisa O’ Sullivan & Leah Murphy €25

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh:

RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Singer of the Year 2022

“One of the earthiest and most distinctive voices, not just in traditional circles, but anywhere” – The Irish Times

A renowned artist with a proven record of performance, recording and innovation, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh is a multi-award winning traditional singer and musician from Corca Dhuibhne, West Kerry. Muireann is a leading exponent of the sean nós style, and loves to engage with audiences to share her love of the Irish song tradition. Her childhood in West Kerry saw her immersed in a rich cultural environment and vital living tradition. This was to be hugely influential on the foundation of her distinctive vocal and instrumental sound.

Muireann has enjoyed a successful career as a touring artist, with over thirteen years experience as lead singer and flute player with the Irish traditional supergroup Danú, as well as a many years performing as a solo artist. She holds an MA in Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick. In 2022 Muireann was awarded “Best Folk Singer” at the RTÉ Radio Folk Awards, and amongst many other awards, was Amhránaí na Bliana at the TG4 Gradaim Ceoil in 2011.

Muireann is also a popular television and radio presenter, having hosted a range of programmes for Irish and Scottish TV over the past 15 years, and currently presents her own music programme “Folk on One” on RTÉ Radio 1. Always keen to explore new ground, she has collaborated with many musicians in genres ranging from traditional to classical, world music to electronica. Most recently Muireann recorded “Róisín ReImagined” an album of sean nós songs arranged by contemporary Irish arrangers with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

“One of today’s great singers” – Irish Echo

“Mysterious Perfection”– Dónal Lunny

Dónal O’Connor:

Son of the celebrated fiddler Gerry O’Connor and revered singer Eithne Ní Uallacháin of Lá Lugh, multi-instrumentalist Dónal O’Connor has establishing himself as one of Ireland’s leading producers. As a musician and composer he has played and recorded with the likes of Liam Ó Maonlaí, Duke Special, Grainne Holland, Davy Spillane, Moya Brennan, Dónal Lunny, Steve Cooney, Mary Dillon, Cathal McConnell, Bob Brozman, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, John Spillane, Lumiere and Barry Kerr.

Gerry O’Beirne:

A native of the west of Ireland and reared there and in west Africa, Gerry O’Beirne is a self taught master of the six and twelve string, slide guitar and ukulele and other stringed instruments. Many of his songs have been recorded by well known artists on the Irish music scene including Mary Black, Maura O’Connell and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. His own albums have received much acclaim around the world, and he produced and arranged music for many others including Patrick Street, Kevin Burke and Micheál O’Domhnaill and he was a one time member of the celebrated group Midnight Well.

“A sublime talent….opens new creative vistas for acoustic guitar music” – fRoots


Tionól is a brand new Irish group featuring 4 master musicians steeped in the traditional music of Sliabh Luachra in the southwest of Ireland. They were especially convened for Baltimore Fiddle Fair’s first International Residency Programme that took place in Rauland, Norway in November 2022.

Derek Hickey from Adare in County Limerick is one of Ireland’s great accordion players as well as touring all over the world he also teaches accordion at the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick. Lisa O’Sullivan hails from Freemount in North Cork and is a member of renowned traditional and folk band ‘The Ceili Allstars’. She also teaches and gives regular workshops to both children and adult learners. Leah Murphy is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer from Rathcoole, Co. Cork. She is the current Secretary of University College Cork Traditional Music Society, and also teaches music to many young people in her home town. Eoin ‘Stan’ O’Sullivan has been immersed in the music and history of Sliabh Luachra since childhood and has worked as musician since the age of sixteen. In 2018 he had the honour of being appointed as Sliabh Luachra Musician in Residence.


Triskel Christ Church Friday 30th September 8pm

Damien O’ Kane & Ron Block with Duncan Lyall and Stevie Byrnes

Sara Corkery & Brendan Butler €25

Damien O’ Kane & Ron Block


Banjo Brothers

‘Exquisite musicianship. My gig of the year’- Ralph McTell

What do you get when an American bluegrass banjo and an Irish tenor banjo join forces?

In the case of Coleraine’s Damien O’Kane and California’s Ron Block… fireworks! A spectacular sound like nothing you could ever imagine, a union of transatlantic cultures melding two styles and two approaches creating a life affirming, uplifting, truly captivating effect.

With two bold, highly acclaimed recent albums to his name the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Album nominated Damien thought it was high time to join forces with a musician he had long admired, Alison Krauss & Union Station banjo star and multi award winner Ron Block (14 Grammy’s and 6 Bluegrass Music awards and that’s just for starters ). Widely regarded as two of the greatest exponents of the banjo they have collaborated to create arguably their own genre, Banjophony, something never heard before…subtle, awe-inspiring, energetic and majestic. They also happen to be highly regarded vocalists in their fields and illuminate that on their most recent release.

At this year’s Cork Folk Festival, they’ll perform tracks from their new album Banjophonics, alongside older tracks from their hugely popular first album – showcasing another masterclass in innovation and moulding of two traditions to ground-breaking effect. With a full band line-up, the banjo maestros are joined on stage by Scotland’s leading ‘Bass Man’ Duncan Lyall on bass and moog and Ireland’s Stevie Byrnes on guitars and stomp. So what to expect? It’s going to be a banjo party!


‘Inspirational…new and innovative sound…exquisitely well played…The energy, groove

and technique will inspire musicians of any genre – Gerry ‘Banjo’ O’Connor.

‘I really like this project a lot. It’s incredibly well played…Anyone that likes Irish and

American roots music will love this record.’ – Ricky Skaggs


Sara Corkery and Brendan Butler

Sara Corkery (vocals & guitar) and Brendan Butler (vocals & mandolin) have been gigging together in Cork for six or seven years with the late Siona Knepper in the band Stayin’Down Shoes. They have a Nashville sound and sing classic old-timey and bluegrass songs with a distinctly Cork accent. Sara was a member of the Cork based quintet ‘The Joyful Mysteries and learnt some of her finger picking guitar style from Declan Sinnott. Brendan is a long time member of the Lee Valley String Band.



Saturday 30th September

Triskel Christchurch 1pm John Spillane & Conal Creedon €20

John Spillane

Conal Creedon

Two of Cork’s finest writers John Spillane and Conal Creedon come together for a magical combination of songs and stories.

John Spillane is a musician, songwriter, performer, recording artist, storyteller, poet and dreamer. Rooted in people, place and story, his music transports the listener, and his live performances captivate audiences around the world. As an artist his music appeals to listeners across many genres and generations. His vocal style has a unique almost sean-nós like quality and his performances shimmer with the magic realism that permeates many of his songs as he effortlessly flits between beautiful poetry tinged with melancholy to roguish, irreverent humour. John has the ability to charm, mesmerise and entertain in equal measure. A native of Cork, the County he lovingly describes as “the centre of the universe” and a source of huge creative influence throughout his career. John’s music is inspired by and encapsulates Irish traditional music in its contemporary form – a reflection of Ireland today. A two-time Meteor Award winner for Best Folk/Trad act John is one of the most accomplished songwriters in Ireland.

In October 2022, John released ‘In Another Light’ a career spanning album recorded live at the Right Here Right Now Festival recorded at Cork Opera House in November 2021. In Another Light Blurb In Another Light is a career spanning album, the songs ranging from 1983 right up to John’s most recent release in 2020. This album is a result of a live concert with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra in November 2021 as part of the Right Here Right Now festival. Every person involved with the concert experienced these songs in a different way. For John and Pauline, who have been performing these pieces for years, it meant learning them anew, in collaboration with the orchestra. For the orchestra, playing newly orchestrated pieces brings new challenges and excitement. For the audience members, they could sit back and experience these well known and much loved songs as they have never heard them before. The resulting recordings are a perfect marriage of true lyrical and melodical brilliance of the songs, lifted by the perfect accompaniment of a professional orchestra. There is a true sense of family and community around this album, how many people does it take to put a show of this scale on a stage? How many people does a musician such as John meet on his journey? We want to welcome everyone into this community, experience these songs with us, hear these tracks that you know and love, In Another Light. Press Quotes … glorious technicolour hues that transcend linguistic boundaries; world music for a new world. Irish Times John Spillane, startlingly alive to the breath of nature, is among the last of the great bards.

‘I sing John Spillane songs everywhere I go. John has been my favourite songwriter for the past ten years’. Christy Moore


Cónal Creedon is an award winning novelist, playwright and documentary filmmaker.

Cónal’s recently published book, Art Imitating Life Imitating Death, was presented at the centre of Irish Studies at Zurich University, James Joyce Federation in 2020. It was subsequently published by Florence University Press and has since picked up Gold at the IP Book Awards in the European Non-Fiction Category and Silver at the IP Book Awards in the Global reference Non-Fiction Category.

His collection of Award winning short stories Pancho and Lefty Ride Again (2021) has been Awarded One City One Book Award 2020. It holds the record of being the most borrowed adult fiction book at Cork City Libraries 2022.

His novel, Begotten Not Made (2018), has achieved literary award recognition: Winner of the Eric Hoffer Award USA 2020, The Bronze Award New Generation Book Award USA 2020; Finalist in the Montaigne [Most Thought-Provoking Book] Award USA 2020. Finalist The IAN Book of the Year Award 2022, Nominated for the Dublin International Book Award 2020; Book of the Year Irish Examiner; Top Books of the Year – Liveline RTÉ Irish National Radio.

Other published books by Cónal Creedon include, Cornerstone (2017), The Immortal Deed of Michael O’Leary (2015), Second City Trilogy (2007), Passion Play (1999) cited as Book of the Year BBC Radio 4, and beat off stiff competition to be the most popular book at UCC Library Winner in 2021, Pancho & Lefty Ride Out (1995), Pancho & Lefty Ride Again (2021).

Cónal’s award-winning stage plays include; The Trial of Jesus (2000), which featured as part of the Irish National Millennium celebrations, received two Business to Arts Awards by President of Ireland Mary McAleese and was nominated for an Irish Times Special Judges Theatre Award 2000. Glory Be to the Father (2001), produced by Red Kettle Theatre Company, Waterford. Cónal’s Second City Trilogy of stage plays achieved high acclaim from theatre critics in Shanghai, New York and Ireland. The Second City Trilogy picked up a number of awards at the 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York, including Best Actor, Best Director and was nominated Best Playwright. When I Was God, a production from the Second City Trilogy was also awarded Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at ICA Federation Awards 2014. In 2021 it was awarded Best Production, Best Actor and Best Director at the Irish National Play Awards.

“Creedon can create characters, not just mouthing amusing philosophical meanderings, not just cold abstractions, these are creations of Creedon’s great humanity”

The Sunday Tribune


Triskel Christchurch: 8pm Martin Carthy, Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly €25

Martin Carthy

Jackie Daly & Matt Cranitch

Martin Carthy MBE (born 21 May 1941) is an English folk singer and guitarist who has remained one of the most influential figures in British Traditional Music , inspiring contemporaries such as Bob Dylan  and Paul Simon  and later artists such as Richard Thompson , since he emerged as a young musician in the early days of the folk revival  in the UK during the 1960s and 1970s.

Martin is a mostly solo performer of traditional songs in a very distinctive style, accompanying himself on his Martin 000-18 acoustic guitar; his style is marked by the use of alternative tunings (notably CGCDGA), and a strongly percussive picking style that emphasises the melody.

He has also been involved with many musical collaborations. He has sung with The Watersons since 1972; was twice a member of the group Steeleye Span and was also a member of The Imagined Village for all three of their albums (2007–2012).

For many years Carthy enjoyed a creative partnership with fiddle player Dave Swarbrick ; more recently, Waterson:Carthy has provided the forum for his successful musical partnership with wife Norma Waterson  and their daughter Eliza Carthy.


“Martin Carthy on English folk music: “I’m not interested in heritage – this stuff is alive.”

― English Folk musician Martin Carthy


Jackie Daly and Matt Cranitch are acknowledged masters of the rich musical tradition of Sliabh Luachra in the southwest of Ireland. This culturally unique area on the Cork/Kerry border is renowned for its distinctive style of playing and special repertoire of tunes, and has been for many years a source of inspiration for both Jackie and Matt. In both their performances and on their recordings, they draw upon this rich legacy.

Matt and Jackie are the benchmark of the current generation of Sliabh Luachra musicians. … This is the definitive voice of Sliabh Luachra in our generation. – Sally Sommers Smith, Irish Music Magazine.

Jackie and Matt have performed throughout the world, individually and with groups who have set the standard for Irish traditional music. They have established enviable personal reputations. Their playing together, on CD and in live performances, displays not only virtuosity, but their respect, love and deep understanding of this vibrant musical tradition.

It’s a rare thing how easily and naturally Daly and Cranitch’s music articulates together, and through it one can sense the rare reverence they not only have for each other, but for the shared tradition they represent. – Dan Neely, Irish Echo, NY.


Triskel Christchurch 8pm The Diarmuidín Songbook: Danny Maidhcí & Eoiní Ó Súilleabháin, Seán (Johnny) Ó Liatháin, Máire Ní Chéileachair, Nell Ní Chróinín, Four Star Trio with Con Ó Drisceoil, Johnny McCarthy, Pat Ahern, MC Peter Browne €20

Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin

Danny Maidhcí Ó Súilleabháin

Nell Ní Chróinín

Máire Ní Chéileachair

Four Star Trio

The Diarmuidín Songbook is a special night celebrating the rich tradition of Múscraí songs sung by Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. Diarmuidín was a renouned sean nós singer and broadcast journalist from Cúil Aodha.  He died in a car accident in 1991, and a posthumous album of sean nós songs, Bruach na Carraige Báine, was released in 1995 and rereleased with new recordings in 2022 under the name Diarmuidín. Since his tragic death a music and singing festival, Éigse Dhiarmuid Uí Shúilleabháin, was setup in his honour and has been running every year in the Cúil Aodha and Baile Mhúirne area in the Muskerry Gaeltacht. Diarmuidín featured in many of the early Cork Folk Festivals from 1979-1990.


This concert, The Diarmuidín Songbook will include many of the songs Diarmuidín was famous for : Bruach na Carraige Báine, Aisling Gheal, Marysheen Went to Bonán, Carraig Aonair, My Pup Came Home From Claedach, Baile Mhúirne and Glanlea. Singers at the concert will include Diarmuidín’s two brothers Danny Maidhcí & Eoiní Ó Súilleabháin and Seán (Johnny) Ó Liatháin who all sing with Cór Chúil Aodha; Múscraí-based Máire Ní Chéileachair who was awarded the highly acclaimed Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge and TG4 singer of the year in 2018; Nell Ní Chróinín, who was the youngest ever recipient to receive TG4’s Gradam Ceoil Traditional Singer of the Year and the Corn Uí Riada award in 2014. She is currently singer in the well-renowned traditional band, Danú; Four Star Trio with Con Ó Drisceoil (song & accordion), Johnny McCarthy (flute & fiddle), Pat Ahern (guitar) will also feature. This trio have a residency in the Corner House Bar every Thursday and two albums under their belt, ‘Magnetic South’ and ‘The Square Triangle’. The MC for the night is broadcaster and uilleann piper Peter Browne.