Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Dolores Keane Reunite for Dé Dannan Concert at Traidphicnic

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Dolores Keane Reunite for Dé Dannan Concert at Traidphicnic

Group return to their roots in the Conamara village of An Spidéal this July.

Members of the traditional music group Dé Dannan will reunite for a concert on 7 July at the Traidphicnic festival in An Spidéal, Co. Galway.

Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Dolores Keane were original members of the band and – together wth Ringo McDonagh and Charlie Piggott – released their first album on the Polydor label in 1975. The band has undergone many line-up changes in the 43 years and almost 20 albums since. However, the band actually began through traditional music sessions in An Spidéal and the surrounding area.

As Jackie Small wrote on the sleevenotes of the debut album in ‘75, the band were then:

Based in Spiddal, the focal point of the Connemara Gaeltacht … Their idiom has evolved through many ‘sessions’ along the Connemara coast; in Hughes’s, An Crúiscín Lán, Jimmy Flaherty’s, and under the ever-hospitable roof of Cathleen Hehir in Camus.

In an interview with The Journal of Music in 2004, Gavin told the story of how the band developed from these sessions. The concert at Traidphicnic will therefore mark a return to roots. Gavin, Finn and Keane will be joined by accordionist Aidan Coffey and bodhrán player Colm Murphy who both joined the band in 1988 for the Jacket of Batteries album and for several years afterwards.

Concerts and workshops
Traidphicnic takes place over three days, from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 July and features a range of events including outdoor concerts, workshops, art exhibitions, sessions and more. 

Friday will feature performances from Nóirín Ní Ghrádaigh, Colm Devane and Monica Strogen (4pm); sean-nós singer Jimí Ó Ceannabháin (5.15pm); Alec Finn, Kathleen Loughnane and Catriona Cannon (5.45pm); Mícheál Ó Confhaola, who recently featured in the Song of Granite film (7pm); and Seosamh Ó Neachtain, Lisa O’Neill and Jesse Smith (7.30pm).

Saturday begins with the group Cogar at 2.30pm, followed by sean-nós singer Tomás Ó Neachtain (3.45pm), The McCarthy Family (4.15pm), Johnny Mháirtín Learaí Mac Donnchadha (5.30pm), and Banna Céilí Cogar (6pm). Dé Dannan will perform at 7.30pm.

On Sunday, the group Harpanno will perform at 2pm, followed by Stiofán Ó Cualáin (3.15pm), ALFI (3.45pm), Meaití Jó Shéamuis Ó Fátharta (5pm) and Navá (5.15pm). The festival concerts will finish up with a group of young local musicians, Ceoltóirí Óga Chois Fharraige.

Traidphicnic works on ‘donate what you can’ basis – festival-goers can make a contribution at concerts.

On Saturday and Sunday morning, workshops will take place at Scoil Éinne in the village. Tutors include Conor Connolly (accordion), Clare Friel and Zoe Conway (fiddle), Edel Fox (concertina), Mary Bergin (tin whistle), Paul McClure (bodhrán) and Seosamh Ó Neachtain (sean-nós dancing).

For further details, visit

Published on 22 June 2018

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