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Published on Mar 4, 2012
Finbar Dwyer & Mary Conroy , The Gathering , Killarney, 23rd February 2008. http://www.thegathering.ie/ Finbarr Dwyer is a legendary traditional Irish accordion player and composer from the famed Dwyer musical family. He was born in Castletownbere, Co. Cork on 20 September 1946. In 1969 he won the All-England accordion title. Ihttp://www.thegathering.ie/ The Gathering Traditional Music Festival is one of the best traditional events in Ireland. The five day events includes concerts, céilí, instrument masterclasses, set dance & sean nos workshops, numerous free music sessions, etc.The concerts have included the very best of local and international traditional performers. Some of the highlights over the years include performances by Altan, Dervish, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Joe Burke & Anne Conroy, Teada, Beginish, Seamus Beagly & Jim Murrey, Jackie Daly, Seamus Creagh, Martin O'Connor, Danú, Noel Hill, Sean Keane & Liam O'Flynn and many more great musicians. Céilí Highlights have included Johnny Reidy, The Allow Ceili Band, Tim Joe & Anne O'Riordan etc.The festival was started in 2000 after the demise of the Killarney Folk Festival, by the initiative of Maurice O'Donoghue, John O'Shea & John O'Donoghue. Anne Keane came on board to run the set dancing part of the programme and after the success of the first year with the help of Guinness it was decided to make the festival an annual event. Following the response from those who attended the first year, the event was able to grow due to the opening if the INEC for Céilís and concerts.The traditional instrument Masterclasses take place over one day on the Saturday of the festival with tuition by some of the best local musicians available. Since 2000, the set dance part of the festival has taken a life of its own with over 100 sets recorded at the INEC. Not many festivals can boast of 5 sessions going on in one venue at the same time, all within a very short walk of each other, where musicians play until 6am in the morning! The festival would not be possible without the involvement of the Gleneagle Hotel, the O'Donoghue Family and also the backroom team in the Gleneagle Hotel & the volunteer team, who work all year round to ensure a great festival for the attendees.