Niall Farrell, the Irish Consul to Frankfurt am Main opened the weekend with a traditional Irish welcome. He was surprised and happy that so many people travelled so far to enjoy Irish culture. Niall stayed for most of Friday evening and was persuaded to dance a set for the first time in his life!
Dance friends came from Newfoundland to Australia, but mostly from Ireland, The Czech Rep., Switzerland, the UK, Italy and Germany. The music of the Slieve Aughty Ceili Band was mighty and the atmosphere relaxed and buoyant. Everyone seemed to have a great time.
Pádraig & Róisín Mc Eneany
Pádraig began dancing at the age of five and Róisín at the age of 3 or 4. Both ended up dancing in competitions and first learned from, then danced with Connie Ryan. They toured the USA as members of the Slievenamon Set Dancers, as well as appearing on television many times.
They also taught several different classes from the early in the 1990's. In 1994 Connie asked them to take over his Cape May workshop in New Jersey, which they still teach to today. After Connie passed away in 1997, they took over his dancing class. Today they travel extensively, teaching in many different countries.
Pádraig and Róisín are well known for their attention to detail, maintaining the special features of each set, and for their traditional steps. They watch over their classes and always help the dancers dance sets as they were traditionally danced.
They currently hold regular dancing classes in Cobblestone in Dublin.
Slieve Aughty Ceili Band
Slieve Aughty (SLIABH EACHTAÍ – Irish - pronounced “SLEEVE ok Tee” or “ACH tee/tea) is a relatively large mountainous area (by Ireland`s standards) and located in the region between East Clare & South Galway. The highest point in Elevation of this region is Maghera which by a fantastic coincidence is one of the primary origins of the Tulla Ceili Band and in particular, the house of P. Joe Hayes.
There is an unverified suggestion for the word “EACHTAí” means enchanted but origins of very old Irish words are sometimes difficult to verify. However, the music from the Slieve Aughty group is not unverified and provides the enchantment required to fixate the dancers & listeners alike for periods of up to 3 hours at a time, with maybe a welcome cup of tea & cake or buns around the half time mark. This allows for a diversion to the senses. From the intense pleasure to the ears and eyes, the transfer to the taste buds lasts for the duration of the Tea Break until the music and dancing has been restored.
The Slieve Aughty group has been playing music as a group for a very few short years. We think about 4 in all. It has come to life out of necessity because not all venues can fit a full 10-piece Ceili band without someone falling off the stage and thus it is much easier to manage 3 people!
The 3 members of the group are from the general area of South Galway/East Clare and play mostly in the Slieve Aughty region but their music has also been heard in faraway places such as France, Switzerland and now branching into Germany in November 2019.
Charlie Harris on Button Accordion has been a specialist in Irish Traditional music for a few short decades and became familiar with the playing of Mark Donnellan on fiddle by joining the Tulla Céilí Band on stage during the Milltown Malbay (Willie Clancy) festival. Jim Corry joins Charlie & Mark on the piano.