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RCC to stream Bealtaine at Home launch event

Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age, Bealtaine Festival, will be celebrated from home next month.

Age & Opportunity’s 2021 festival’s edition, Bealtaine at Home, will celebrate In(ter)dependence as its theme.

In County Donegal the festival, now in its 24th year, will be kicked off with a special launch event recorded at the RCC and premiering online on Saturday, 1st May at 7pm, to mark the beginning of the month-long festivities.

Hosted by Fergus Cleary, the launch event will be streamed on the RCC’s Facebook and YouTube channels and features acts from across the county.

There is not much, popular Convoy native Fergus Cleary has not done, from telling stories, writing plays and more recently publishing his book of poems entitled, The Poet.

Born in Australia, but raised in Sligo, Kieran Quinn is an accomplished and critically-acclaimed songwriter and composer best known for the Theme Nights he has been running for nearly a decade. he has also written, produced and released four albums and an EP.

More recently Quinn has also started to really enjoy blogging, writing about music, performance, motivation and ethics.

Inishowen singer/songwriter Finbarr Doherty has just released his third album featuring 21 songs written over a span of 25 years.

The album’s title, Chapel Street to Somerville, is a reflection of that time, marking the Carndonagh street Finbarr lived on when he and his wife Denise got married to the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, northwest of Boston, where they lived for seven years.

The songs featured on the new album precede, or didn’t make the cut for his first two albums, Across The Water (inspired by Clonmany teacher Patrick Kavanagh’s collection of stories, The Last of The Name) and Skyscrapers, released in 2011.

Ciara Daly joins her father, well-known Bundoran musician Gregory Daly for the official launch of Bealtaine at Home, recorded at the RCC.

Gregory Daly grew up in the district known as The Ross outside Bundoran in South Donegal where he became interested in traditional music while still at school and started playing the tin whistle and a short time later the flute.

Gregory said it was mainly due to the encouragement and help of Brian McGovern and the McKiernan family who lived in the town that introduced him to the music at a deeper level.

Developing an interest in the wider musical tradition of North Connacht, Gregory worked as an archivist in the Coleman Heritage Centre.

He produced and published a series of instrumental CDs from the archive collection at the centre,  as well as a number of documentary films focused on the musical heritage of the area. Gregory is joined by his daughter Ciara Daly for this event.

The talented Alan Chapman is a self-taught musician from Bundoran and well-known figure on the South Donegal music scene, and further afield.

Though his first choice of instrument was the tin whistle, Alan is versatile on many instruments including the bass, acoustic guitar and banjo.

CONCERTS

The RCC is presenting a number of highlights for Bealtaine at Home, beginning this weekend with two fantastic FREE online concerts recorded at the centre – Pat Gallagher (Goats Don’t Shave) on Sunday, 2nd May at 7pm and Brendan Quinn & Dermot Byrne on Monday, 3rd May, at 7pm.

On Friday, 7th May, at 2pm, you can experience the joy of paper folding with our talented RCC Technician Cathal McGinley and his online Origami class.

On Sunday, 16th May at 7pm, the RCC will premiere Keith O’Grady’s film, Border Tales, an oral history film that deals with people’s experience of The Troubles in the northwest of Ireland, as they remember it.

Bealtaine at Home, 1st to 31st May 2021, an Age & Opportunity Arts Initiative, Bealtaine in Donegal is organised by Donegal County Council Culture Division in association with a wide range of partners and is co-ordinated by the Regional Cultural Centre and Donegal County Library. All booking links for RCC events are available at www.regionalculturalcentre.com/bealtaine

The Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny is proudly funded by Donegal County Council and Arts Council Ireland.

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