The 48th International Pan Celtic Festival got underway in Letterkenny with a special Opening Concert in the Mount Errigal Hotel last night.
The festival runs until Sunday.
Donegal County Council statement -
There was a strong mix of celtic music, song and dance in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny last night as the 48th International Pan Celtic Festival got off to a colourful start with a special Opening Night Concert. Old friends were reconnected and new friends became acquainted as the large audience enjoyed entertainment from each of the six Celtic nations.
The Official Opening was performed by popular TG4 presenter and Falcarragh native, Caitlín Nic Aoidh and the Opening Night Concert feature performances from each of the participating Celtic nations – Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. This was followed by a special Oíche Ghaelach, hosted by the Letterkenny Branch of Comhaltas Cheoltóirí Éireann from 9.30pm.
Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill also spoke at the official opening saying “it is a privilege to host the International Pan Celtic Festival and to celebrate and share our Celtic heritage, cultures, traditions and especially our lovely languages together with Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. County Donegal’s unique and varied culture is a source of immense pride and our county and its culture have always been intertwined. Donegal County Council is fully committed to valuing, sustaining and developing our culture and our creative resources and hosting the International Pan Celtic Festival is a clear demonstration of this commitment.”
Mayor of Letterkenny MD Cllr. Ian McGarvey welcomed the visiting guests to Letterkenny saying “As Mayor of Letterkenny, it is indeed an honour and a joy for me to welcome you all to this the official opening of the International Pan Celtic Festival 2019. I hope you all have a copy of the very busy and interesting programme of events in your hands, and that you will find the time to attend all of the events listed there – you will have plenty of time to sleep and recover when you go home!”
This Festival, which was hosted very successfully by Letterkenny last year, will run until Sunday and boasts a packed programme of themed concerts, music, song and dance workshops and competitions, talks, storytelling sessions, Celtic language workshops, street pageantry, spectacle and drama, featuring over 300 performers.
In order to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the event, the Pan Celtic Festival organisers are offering Special €10 All Day Tickets which enable admission to All Festival Events in Any One Day. Tickets are available now at An Grianán Theatre Box Office T: 074 9120779.
Back Row L-R, Liam Ward, Director of Service, Donegal County Council, Máirín Nic Dhonnchadha, International Chairperson of the Pan Celtic Festival, Caitlín Nic Aoidh, TG4, and Gearóid Maguibhrín, Foras na Gaeilge.
Front Row L-R –Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Seamus O’Domhnaill, Bláithnaid Ó Brádaigh, President of the Pan Celtic International Festival and Cllr. Ian Mc Garvey, Cathaoirleach of Letterkenny MD.
Pics - Clive Wasson
Celtic Nation Nights
Among the most popular elements of last year’s Festival programme were the special Festival Club variety concerts hosted by the individual visiting Celtic Nation groups.
The first of this year’s editions, the Breton Night, takes place tonight (Wednesday 24 April) at the Mount Errigal Hotel from 8pm. It will feature performances by the 30 strong Pipes, Bombards and Drums band, Bagad Bleidi Kamorah, the 20 member Cercle de Vannes Dance Ensemble, Ensemble Gens Cambrina Harp Quintet, the Hent Telenn Breizh Singers Quartet and the Kerdin en Avel Traditional Breton Band. The Breton groups are renowned for the beauty and detail of their exquisite traditional costumes and their dedicated Festival Club Night is not to be misssed.
Three further visiting Celtic Nation Nights will take place at the Mount Errigal Hotel, over the course of the week. On Thursday, April 25th it’s the turn of Cornwall and the Isle of Man; Friday, April 26th is Wales Night and is a must see for choral music lovers, while on Saturday, April 27th, it’s the turn of the Scots.
Admission to each of the Celtic Nation Nights is €10 and tickets may be Purchased or Booked in Advance at the An Grianán Theatre Box Office, or purchased at the door, on the night.
Pan Celtic Song Contest and Choral Concert
An Grianán Theatre will host some of the Festival’s most highly anticipated competitive events and concert performances. These include the prestiguous Pan Celtic International Song Contest on Thursday night, April 25th which will be hoted by TG4’s Caitlín Nic Aoidh and the spectacular Pan Celtic Choral Concert on Friday night, April 26th which will feature a special performance by Donegal’s own Ceol le Chéile Donegal Choir of Ages intergenerational choir, conducted by Veronica McCarron.
Pageantry and Spectcle
The Festival will take to the streets on Friday afternoon, April 26th, with the Pan Celtic Parade, from An Grianán Theatre to the Courtyard Shopping Centre at 2pm. The Parade will feature marching bands, dancers and musicians from the six Celtic nations, as well as special appearances by Inishowen Carnival Group and the Carndonagh Brass Band.
Lá na gComórtas Inter-Celtic Competitions Day
Saturday, April 27, is Lá na gComórtas, the Inter-Celtic Competitions Day. For the travelling performers, this is the biggest day of the Festival, the day the various choirs, vocal ensembles, solo musicians and duets, across a range of instruments, go head to head in Inter-Celtic competition. The competitions will run from 10.30am at Coláiste Ailigh, Knocknamona. The quality the performances and the level of entertainment will be of the highest order.
Further Events and Programme Information
Details of further Pan Celtic Festival events, such as the Celtic language classes and workshops series at the Central Library and the Mount Errigal Hotel, the Líonra Leitir Ceanainn Irish language events at An Grianán and at Caifé Moonshine, the lecture on Tristan and Isolde and the Arthurian Cycle of Celtic legends at the County Museum, the hugely popular Scottish Céilí event, the Inter-Celtic Dance Competition, Celtic Harp workshops and recitals, camogie competitions, outdoor theatre performances and special religious services, are all to be found in the Festival Programme, which may be downloaded from www.panceltic.ie
The 48th International Pan Celtic Festival is presented by the International Pan Celtic Council, in a partnership with Donegal County Council.