Abbey Sessions for Ballyshannon next week

The Abbey Sessions Ballyshannon with Na Mooneys, The Henry Girls, Steve Cooney at The Abbey Arts Centre Next Week.

The Abbey Arts Centre, in association with Donegal County Council, is delighted to present a series of three very special concerts next week. Assisted by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media’s  Local Live Performance Programme Support Scheme, the Abbey Sessions series will feature performances by Na Mooneys, The Henry Girls and an outstanding ensemble of South West Donegal musicians, singers and storytellers including Tara Connaghan, Steve Cooney, Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile, Aisling Ní Churraighín, and Mick Brown.

Na Mooneys

The first concert in the series takes place on Tuesday, October 19.  It features extended seven piece family band Na Mooneys, aka Clann Uí Mhaonaigh of Gaoth Dobhair, who are – Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan, her brother Gearóid Ó Maonaigh and sister Anna Ní Mhaonaigh. The ensemble also includes Gearóid’s son Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, a member of the brilliant Fidil trio, with Ciarán’s partner Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Mairéad’s daughter Nia Byrne, and longtime family friend, music producer and member of seminal Scottish traditional band, Capercaillie, Manus Lunny.

With a great store of songs, tunes and dances from the Donegal Gaeltacht and beyond in their repertoire – much of which has been derived from family sources such as the late, great Francie Mooney – an evening with Na Mooneys is an invitation to join a family celebration of all that is treasured in the Irish tradition.

abbey sessions ballyshannon

Tara Connaghan, Steve Cooney, Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile.

On the following night, Wednesday, October 20, it’s the turn of a group of musicians, singers and storytellers – also with strong Gaeltacht connections – from South West Donegal, including Glenties fiddle player Tara Connaghan, An Teileann based Australia born guitarist and composer Steve Cooney – recently announced winner of the TG4 Cumadóir na Bliana Award – Gleann Choilm Cille singer, fiddle player and member of the internationally acclaimed Anúna vocal ensemble Ellie Nic Fhionnghaile, folklorist and accordian player Aisling Ní Churraighín –  who is also Oifigeach Pleanála Teanga for the SW Donegal Gaeltacht – and An Teileann based, Dublin born fiddle player Mick Brown.

A special night of music on fiddle, guitar and accordion, traditional singing and storytelling is in store, when these five artists come together to offer a unique insight into the vibrant traditions of their homeplace.

The Henry Girls

On Saturday night, October 23, it’s the turn of The Henry Girls. Over the past ten years, the Inishowen trio – sisters Lorna, Karen and Joleen McLaughlin – have enthralled audiences all over Ireland, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and the US, with their unique blend of Irish Traditional, Oldtime and Jazz music, and a quality of vocal harmonizing that only siblings appear able to aspire to. For this special concert at the Abbey Arts Centre, they will be also joined by regular musical collaborator, Glenties fiddle player, Denise Boyle.

Audiences on the night can expect to hear material from The Henrys’ many recordings to-date as well as from their brilliant recent tribute to the 1930s American vocal trio, The Boswell Sisters – forerunners of the better known Andrews Sisters and a big influence on The Henry Girls’ own singing style.

Tickets & Booking

Tickets for these concerts, at a specially reduced price of €10, must be Booked In Advance from the Abbey Centre at T: 071 9851375 or Online at

Please Note that, when attending the Abbey Arts Centre, Covid 19 protocols will apply. Proof of vaccination is necessary and audience members are required to wear masks and observe social distancing at all times.

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