The 5th Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy showed concerts and long sessions in the homes of Donegal.
On the 28/12/98 American journalist Earl Hitchener ("Irish Echo", "Wall Street Journal") introduced fiddler Paddy Glackin to a rather small
audience in "Ionad Cois Locha" in Dún Lúiche, Co. Donegal. Glackin himself opened the SGFK with a few words in Irish and English.
For four days there where classes in fiddle, flute, uillean pipes, box, bodhrán and guitar. Amongst teachers where Liz Doherty, Tara Diamond, Gay McKeown, Colette O'Leary, Seamus Ó Cathain and Eoghan O'Brien. Afternoon and evening concerts featured local musicians, singer Aoife Ní Fhearraigh, box-player Dermot Byrne, Altan, Dog Big Dog Little and a bunch of local sean-nós singers like Geraldine Neidi Frank, Connie Mhary Mhici Ó Gallchóir or Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill all presented in Irish by Brian Danny Minny Ó Domhnaill, flautist, singer and presenter of a cooking series on Teilifís na Gaeilge.
On New Year's Eve different people entertained the guests in "Óstan Ghleann Bheithe", Na Doirí Beaga: Joey Doyle, a gifted flautist in his early teens showed up on stage again, Kevin Doherty and Gerry "banjo" O'Connor did some songs and tunes, then Steve Cooney and Derek Hickey played the night away being joined by a few locals and even Agnes Kennedy, mother of the late Frankie Kennedy, sang along with them. Again there was another remarkable event to commemorate Frankie Kennedy: some of his flutes where to be found on a table in "Ionad Cois Locha" and people interested in flute playing could join a flute session.
In comparision to the bigger summer schools there was just a bunch of
musicians up there at the SGFK - but they all enjoyed the few dark and
stormy days at the edge of Europe.
Due to the work of Mícheál, Gerry and Debbie of "Tionscnamh Lugh" in "Ionad Cois Locha" and the incredible spirit and energy of Frankie's brother-in-law Gearóid Ó Maonaigh this little festival made everybody feel as a part of a very special thing. And for sure the weather in that part of the world at that time of the year will keep the SGFK "very special", too.
Photo Credit: All Photos by The Mollis: Dermot Byrne & Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan
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