South Sligo Summer School

South Sligo Summer School

The 32nd Year

Final plans are being put in place for the 32nd year of the South Sligo Summer School of traditional music, song and dance in Tubbercurry which runs from Sunday 15th to Saturday, 21st July 2018. This year Raidio na Gaeltachta’s Head of Music, Neansai Ni Choisdealbha, will officially open the Summer School. Following the official opening in St. Brigid’s Hall at 7 pm on Sunday, 15th, to which everyone is invited, the ever popular local Swallows Tail Ceilí Band will play for the opening céilí from 8.30 to 11.30 pm.

This year’s stellar line up of céilí bands in St. Brigid’s Hall also includes Sligo’s own Dartry Céilí Band, playing on Wednesday, 18th and the Swallows Tail Céilí Band play again on Thursday, 19th. Registered students have free entry into the céilí on Thursday night. Other bands playing during the week include Matt Cunningham and the Glenside Céilí Bands, both regular visitors to the summer school over the years. Daily workshops in a wide variety of traditional instruments will take place in St. Attracta’s Community School and in a number of other venues around town. All ages and levels of experience welcome. We will help you find the workshop best suited to your needs. Registration is from 8.30 am on Monday morning 16th July in St. Brigid’s Hall, with pre-registration also available online on our website The hugely popular Mixed Instruments Workshop for adults will be available again this year, facilitated by Fiona Doherty and Michael Hurley. Our classes are recognised for EPV/CPD for primary teachers by the Department of Education & Skills. Having introduced the Harmonica for a trial workshop last year, Rick Epping this year for the full week. Rick will cater for players of varying levels of experience. Participants need to bring a harmonica in the key of G.

Masterclasses are open to experienced players in fiddle and flute this year, facilitated by John Carty and Colm O’Donnell. These take place on Tuesday, 17th July from 4 to 6 pm in the National School.

Nightly concerts and recitals featuring tutors, local and visiting musicians are always a highlight of the summer school and open to everyone to come along and listen to the very best in traditional music and song. This year’s Monday night concert in St. Attracta’s Community School is in honour of the Kearins Family. Fionnuala and her son and daughter Cian and Caoimhe have been teaching at the South Sligo Summer School for many years. They will be joined by family and friends for a Celebration of Music & Song and it promises to be a very special night. Tickets will be available at the door. Mark your diary: Mon 16th July at 8 pm! Come early!

For a full list of tutors, instruments taught and other details of this year’s programme please check out our website where you will also find links to our Facebook page, Youtube channel and Twitter or for further information ring 071-9120912. The summer school programme is also widely available in the local tourist office, in local shops and businesses around Tubbercurry and the surrounding area or from any member of the organising committee.


Fourteen years ago a small group of Spanish students arrived to Tubbercurry with the help of people from town who thought that having a Spanish summer school in the town would have a positive experience for both students and locals alike. Well, now this is a fact and Tubbercurry welcomes every summer a group of Spanish students who come here to learn English.

Now we have got to the end of the fourteenth summer and everything has been much better than it had ever been expected. A lot of work has been done to get to this point by the leaders in charge of the students and the teachers, but nothing would have been possible without the help of the people from the town. Host families have become a second family to the students, that’s why we would like to thank them for their help and support. We’d also like to thank the Irish coordinators who believed in this project from the very beginning, the South Sligo Summer School in which the students learnt Irish music and they really enjoyed it, and of course the whole town for the hospitality that has been given to all of us which made us feel like at home. We will never forget it!

This year, like the previous one, we made a barbeque in which host families, teachers, coordinators and everyone who wanted to attend had a great time. A fundraising took place and all the money was donated to Sligo Cancer Support Centre based in Tubbercurry.

Now we have started to work for next year’s course with more enthusiasm than ever. Thank you and see you next summer!

History of the Summer School

Established in 1987, the South Sligo Summer School of Traditional Music, Song and Dance is held annually in Tubbercurry during the second week in July.  The official opening  takes place on the evening of the second Sunday in July and there follows a packed programme of formal and informal events for the week, including masterclasses, céilís, workshops, talks, concerts, sessions and lots more. There is a particular emphasis placed on the Sligo style of fiddle and flute playing and this, alongside an extended range of workshops and new innovative elements each year, attracts people of all ages and abilities from near and far to attend and spend a week of total immersion in the local culture here in our community.

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