The Mc Glinchey Summer School 
Clonmany, Co. Donegal
24th – 27th June 2004

The Mc Glinchey Summer School was set up to explore and explain the tradition and folklore of the north-western region of Ireland and of the Inishowen peninsula in particular.  It is based in the village of Clonmany which is in the north-west of the peninsula between Buncrana and Malin Head.

The evolution of the Summer School was a consequence of the publication of “The Last of the Name”. This book which details the type of life that was lived in the north-west of Ireland in the period just beyond living memory, and represents the life and work of two extraordinary Inishowen men. The ageing Charles Mc  Glinchey, weaver,  tailor and storyteller, spilled out his memories to school teacher and  local  historian, Patrick Kavanagh, who took it down in long-hand during the late 1940s and early 50s. Just before publication over thirty years later, playwright Brian Friel, to create a book that gives its readers a powerful empathy with our ancestors, sensitively edited the manuscript.

Taking their lead from the book and anxious to continue this kind of tradition a group of Clonmany people came together to form the school. The high point of each year is the meeting of the Summer School on the last weekend of June. This year the theme is Music.

“Music is a thing that follows tribes of people.”
“All the noted singers were in the choir that time. They had no harmonium and the music they had was fiddles and flutes.”
“There was always a big night for anyone going away to America; Neily Mc Colgan, the blind fiddler, would be sent for, and they would dance till day clearing.” 

These references to music from The Last of the Name reveal the rich musical heritage of the Inishowen area where traditional music and song were part of occasions and celebrations, and continue to be, integral events in the social fabric of the peninsula. Talks by Damhnait Sweeney, Ballyliffin and UCC about fiddle music, by Breda Mc Kinney, on song, will explore those traditions and local musicians Dinny Mc Laughlin and his famous pupil, Liz Doherty, will demonstrate how it was and is still passed on. 

Not unlike the Inishowen tradition, the south Armagh musical heritage is very rich and Len Graham and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin who have done so much to research and promote the songs of the area, will illustrate their tradition.

Michael Ó Súilleabháin, Professor of Music at the University of Limerick, will open the weekend programme, titled Big Nights and Bygone Days, which will also feature concerts, field trips, exhibitions and many other attractions.

Full Schedule

Golf Classic

For further information: or ring  086-1722978


  Charles McGlinchey
  Patrick Kavanagh
  School Manuscripts
  'Last Of The Name'
  Summer School Newsletter

  '06 Summer School
  '05 Summer School
  '04 Summer School
  '03 Summer School
  '02 Summer School
  '01 Summer School
  '00 Summer School
  '99 Summer School
  '98 Summer School

  '99 Magazine
  '98 Magazine

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