John Spillane back in Castlebar for one special show

John Spillane will perform at The Royal Castlebar Theatre and Event Centre on Friday January 9. John Spillane is well known in the world of music and has received both national and international acclaim as a singer/songwriter. John is a native of Cork, the county he lovingly describes as “the centre of the universe” and it has been a huge influence on this modern-day troubadour. Vocally, Spillane is quite unique with an almost sean nós element and has been described as having a voice “full of honesty, commitment and sensitivity”.

Long established as a songwriter for Christy Moore, Sean Keane, and Sharon Shannon, his 2002 album Will We Be Brilliant or What? established John as a top-tier recording artist in his own right. This success of the album, which featured the magical track ‘The Dance of the Cherry Trees’, resulted in John winning the 2003 Meteor Ireland Music Award for Best Folk/Traditional Act, taking the award ahead of The Chieftains, Sinead O’Connor, Christy Moore, Kila, and Altan.

John managed to add to his awards tally when he won Meteor Award 2006 in the Best Folk/Irish Traditional Music category following his 2005 album Hey Dreamer. According to John, “I wasn't able to get out the door of the house for about a month, with the swelled head, like!” One of John’s pet projects is The Gaelic Hit Factory, a songwriting partnership of John and old school friend Louis de Paor. ‘Songs in the Irish language for money and financial gain’ is the motto of the Hit Factory but sometimes they write also ‘For Ireland and for glory’.

John has spread his wings and become a regular presenter on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. His programme has won over a a strong listenership in recent times through his warm, relaxed, style and his eclectic mix of music. It’s unlikely that any other Raidio na Gaeltachta presenter would have a playlist that includes ‘Cá bhFuil Mo Geansai’ (’Where’s Me Jumper’ ) by The Sultans of Ping FC. John has just released his latest album Irish Songs We Learned At School which is a very special compilation of children’s songs that we learned (or didn’t learn! ) at school.

Finding recordings of these great old Irish tunes had been difficult until now, and with favourites such as ‘Báidín Fheilimí’, ‘An Maidrín Rua’, ‘An Poc Ar Buile’, and many more, these songs are now available, recorded beautifully by John Spillane and friends. “It was a great pleasure to record and re-discover these beautiful songs,” says John. “This is a charming album and will be a great gift for those nostalgic about their childhood songs, and also great for teaching children these songs that could sadly be dying out without these lovely recordings. You’ll remember more songs that you think you know!”

As John would put it himself; Happy days in the Gaelic Hit Factory! Tickets are available on as well as from The Royal Box Office on 0818 300 000. For further information check the Royal Theatre and Event Centre website on or



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