Do you remember the ceili band era?

Moate has a proud tradition of both ceili bands and Irish traditional music. The Moate Ceili Band was founded in the early 1930s and was the first provincial band to broadcast from Radio Eireann. It broadcast regularly on Irish radio over the next 15 years (on average 10 times per year ) and toured extensively both in Ireland and England.

Among the many great musicians who played with the Moate Ceili Band were: Willie Adamson (fiddle ), Willie Donnelly (piano ), Willie Davis (concertina ), T Davis (concertina ), Neddy Egan (fiddle ), John Joe Gannon (accordion ), Billy Whelan (banjo ), Willie Jordan (fiddle ), Patrick Gavin (fiddle ), and Dessie Coughlan (banjo ).

As part of the Heritage Week programme, taking place from 23-31, Moate Library will host a talk on The Golden Era of the Ceili Band by Brian Lawler, founder of the Ardellis Ceili Band and someone who played in the dancehalls of Ireland for many years.

In 1999 Brian embarked on a five year research project, supported by the Arts Council, to compile an audio archive on The Golden Era of Ceili Music and Dance 1955-1970. He recorded interviews with 70 people who were intimately involved in the ceili band era. Some were, like himself, founders of ceili bands and musicians, some were promoters and he also included interviews with those who formed the audience, those who danced, and those who promoted the ceili band movement on the radio.

This unique archive which Brian Lawler compiled includes 42 hours of recorded material. It now forms part of the collection of the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Merrion Square, Dublin. In 2008 RTÉ Radio 1 broadcast two one-hour programmes based on the project.

The talk which lasts roughly 45 minutes includes short excerpts of some of the field interviews and also some samples of the music of the period after which Brian will gladly field any questions from the audience. He first gave his talk in the John Burns Library in Boston College in 2005 and since then he has given talks on the subject throughout Ireland. His talks in other libraries in Westmeath have been very well received.

This is your chance to re-live the Golden Era of Ceili Music and Dance 1955 - 1970. The talk will be held in Moate Library, on Wednesday August 27 at 2.30pm.

For bookings call in to Moate Library or contact Lorna Farrell at Moate Library on (090 ) 6481888 or email [email protected]

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