Making a welcome return to the Festival is Cork’s dynamic Abbey Ceili Band. Founded in 1995, the band started out with just two musicians, accordionist Ger Murphy and keyboard player Micheál Creedon. They played on Thursday nights for a weekly set dancing session in the Abbey Hotel, in Ballyvourney, Co. Cork, which was (and is) owned by Micheál’s family.
Matinée Set Dancing Céilí
* The Abbey Ceili Band
1-4pm ¤ London Irish Centre ¤ £10 (children free at dance events, but must be accompanied by an adult)
After a few months, Liam Forde sat in on banjo, impressing Ger and Micheál so much that they invited him to join the band. Andrew O’Connell visited the session with his fiddle a short while later and was asked to complete the foursome. They quickly established a reputation in the area for their solid playing and strong arrangements.
Travelling further afield, they cemented their reputation with the set dancing world when they played at the Dan Furey weekend in Labasheeda and the summer schools in Miltown Malbay. Nowadays, they play all over Ireland and Europe and have appeared several times on RTÉ’s Ceili House.