Con Houlihan Memorial Christmas Concert - 17th December 2016

A real festive treat is in store for the Kingdom as preparations are well underway for the annual Con Houlihan Memorial Christmas Concert. The event takes please on Saturday 17th December at the River Island Hotel in CastleIsland and a host of special guests are lined up for the evening.

Headlining this year’s billing is the last remaining living member of The Dubliners, John Sheahan – fiddler, tin whistle player, composer and poet.

Sheahan and Houlihan made acquaintance in the early days of The Dubliners forming in O’Donoghues of Merrion Row and remained firm friends. It as indeed Con who wrote the sleevenotes for their 25 Year Celebration Album and described the group as ‘leaves from different trees blown together by the wind that changed the world of music a generation ago’.

Sheahan performed the traditional air ‘An Chúilfhionn’ at Con’s funeral ceremony in August 2012, when he passed away at the age of 86.

Playing alongside Sheahan on the night is Ballyduff native, box player Danny O'Mahony. In 2011, Danny released his long awaited and critically acclaimed debut solo recording 'In Retrospect' which was officially launched in Dublin by John Sheahan. Danny presents and produces ‘Trip to the Cottage’ which features Irish Traditional Music and Song on Radio Kerry every Monday night from 8-10pm.

Sheahan and O’Mahony collaborated for the first time at a Folk Festival in Norway in 2010. “We performed under the stage name ‘The Cooley Blues’ along with Cyril O'Donoghue and Michael Howard,” says O’Mahony. “That was a great experience and since then, we have developed a great musical friendship and have performed together many times.”

Their most recent performance was ‘Live in the Marquee’ in Ballyduff last Summer. “We had a fantastic weekend in Ballyduff over the August Bank Holiday weekend and John was the highlight. People travelled from far and wide to hear him and meet him,” says O’Mahony. “We’re delighted to have Clare singer and Bouzouki player Cyril O’Donoghue join us again in Castleisland for another memorable night.”

The audience on the night can expect an exciting display of top class dancing from world champion step dancer Séamus Ó Flatharta from the Connemara Gaeltacht, who is also an All-Ireland Sean Nós Singer and Harpist. ‘Marino Waltz’ from the famed Bord na Móna ad is guaranteed to be performed on the night, along with some more of John’s exquisite compositions. He will also recite some poems from his debut collection ‘Fiddle Dreams’ and is sure to share a comical tale or two of his days with The Dubliners, and Con Houlihan.

Tickets are €20 and should be purchased in advance from The River Island Hotel @ 066-7142555 or by calling 087-6870581. Doors open at 7.30pm on the night and the concert kicks off at 8pm. Follow us on Facebook at ‘Con Houlihan Memorial Concert’ and be in with a chance to win free concert tickets!

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