Carragh Cottage Sessions

Nestled in the tranquil rural heartland of North Galway sits a thatched cottage of significant renown. The roots of the home can be traced back to 1820 so if its walls could speak what a story they could tell. The story would be full of music, the music of the Keane family, the key keepers of song and traditional singing. Granny Keane was a song collector, gathering from travelling farm hands "An Spailpin Fanach" as they roamed the country working on farms and bringing with them songs and airs they learned on other farms and music houses. Carragh was a music house, a gathering place for song and dance but also for listening, learning and sharing. The next generation of Keanes 'had the music in them' each of them played and sang, having their own Ceili band, performing around north Galway. Rita and Sarah Keane who were members of the band became known world wide in the era of one radio station and fledgling TV when broadcasters like Ciaran Macmahuna recorded the music from Carragh to go out on Radio Eireann. It was on programmes like this that gave the world a glimpse of young fledglings from the third generation of Keanes. The music in the blood of Seán and Dolores seemed even richer than the previous generation and even as children the world could see their potential from those recordings in Carragh.

The treasure that is Carragh has now been developed as a unique attraction to enable others to experience that richness in music culture. Only 20 people can share this experience at any given time. Unspoilt and unchanged the large fireplace will welcome people to share in a Carragh Cottage Session of story telling music and song led by Seán Keane.

You will be able to sit and be inspired in this authentic cultural space, in the flicker of the light, the starlings in the thatch, the ticking of the clock, the mug of hot tea, the homemade brown bread, the feeling of home and of belonging to history. Most of all you will be drawn in by the spirit of the music that oozes through the patterned wallpaper, the multi paned windows, that wafts up the chimney and filling the country air. To be able to sit in front of the big hearth and let your mind take you back to the people who sat here before you. To be part of that history, a must on the bucket list for anyone who wants to share in a real cultural experience with a musician and singer that still threads the stages of the world singing those famous songs he learned in the womb of Carragh.

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Carragh Cottage Session.