Kate O’Callaghan (Ire)

Saturday 1st October, 8.00pm

The Girl With The Beret – Songs from a Witness Statement

A performance of new original compositions by Irish singer/songwriter Kate O’Callaghan, in collaboration with the Donegal Camerata String Ensemble and musicians Seamus Devenny, Tim Jarvis, Declan Mc Clafferty, Martin Smyth, Kevin Murphy and Paul Devenny.
Inspired by the details in a Bureau of Military History Witness Statement, recorded by Kate’s great-grand aunt Catherine Rooney (neé Byrne), it weaves the story of a young girl involved in the events of the 1916 Rising in Dublin.

Catherine Rooney (Byrne) was a member of Cumann na mBan and the first woman to enter the GPO in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916. She recounts, in detail, her involvement in the Rising and later with the resurgence movement in the years that followed. During the week of the Rebellion she directly tended to the wounded men in the GPO and delivered dispatches to and from the various outposts. She describes running under gunfire, a near-fatal miss with a bullet (that leaves two holes in her beret) and risky encounters with British soldiers.
Catherine was the eldest girl in a large family of 12 children and lived at No.17 North Richmond St. in Dublin. Both her mother and father and several of her siblings played active roles in the Rising and in the years that followed. During this time their home was used as a safe house and arms dump, where secret meetings would regularly take place.

The show presents a collaborative fusion of alternative folk, popular ballad and classical strings. Through song and spoken word it gives a unique insight into the perspective of an ordinary girl living in 1916 and what it meant, as a female, to be involved in the Rebellion.

Kate O’Callaghan is a Donegal based singer/songwriter who combines evocative melodies with intelligent considered lyrics. To date she has recorded & released an EP, debut Album, received National & International Radio Play and toured in Ireland, UK and the US. On Easter Monday 2016 Kate was invited to take part in RTÉ’s ‘Reflecting the Rising’. She performed a sell-out concert in the Four Courts, Dublin and featured in a live broadcast show – ‘A Centenary Special’ presented by Keelin Shanley at the Royal Irish College of Surgeons, which focused on women in 1916 and the women of the Rising.

Kate has spent the past 6 months recording The Girl With The Beret album which is due for release this October 2016. CD’s will be available to purchase at the event.

For more details please visit