But with an actor it is different: we are born at the rise of the curtain and we die with its fall, and every night in the presence of our patrons we write our new creation, and every night it is blotted out forever; and of what use is it to say to audience or to critic, 'Ah but you should have seen me last Tuesday?'

Micheál MacLiammóir
'Hamlet in Elsinore'
The Bell, October 1952

Around Ireland
Folk Culture
Information Resources
Irish Language
The Island Ireland directory is sponsored by our online Irish shop:
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You're very welcome to the Island Ireland directory for Irish arts and music.
The following hand-picked links will take you to resources on Irish traditional instruments, art exhibits, set and step dancing, folk songs and more.
The Internet is a great way to find out what's on in Ireland... particularly if you're planning a visit from afar. Entertainment Ireland is an excellent guide to events, festivals, music, the theatre, cinema, television, art exhibits and more.
CultureNorthernIreland is an online cultural atlas, covering music, literature, sport, heritage, dance, theatre, fashion and the visual arts. It contains hundreds of articles, profiles and reviews on every cultural aspect imaginable... is maintained by the two art councils of Ireland and works to provide comprehensive listings of all arts events, north and south...
Live Ireland is an interesting site with news and music features on Irish culture. You can use Real Player to take an audiovisual tour of Glendalough or Irish castles, listen to lots of Irish music, and read newsletter articles on all sorts of Irish historical and cultural topics.
AIMS, the Association of Irish Musical Societies, is the umbrella body for over 100 musical societies all around Ireland. Info on upcoming performances and festivals... Hello Dolly!
Folk World (interviews with Celtic artists and reviews of new CDs, bi-lingual site: German and English)
Roots World 'Music of the Isles' (folk traditions of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales)
Dirty Linen (world and folk music, concert and recording reviews, articles, North American tour information)
Hot Press (pop, traditional, and contemporary music and modern culture from an Irish point of view, Rolling Stone-esque in style)
Irish Music Magazine (good resource with lots of links)
The Journal of Music in Ireland
Musical Traditions is a fascinating site for anyone interested in authentic folk and traditional music from around the world. This site includes lots of info on the real stuff... including reviews of sean-nós albums and archival recordings, articles and news. If you enjoy recordings from the Topic, Claddagh or Ossian labels you'll think you died and went to heaven...
Mad For Trad is a traditional Irish music portal website which includes news and reviews, tour dates and festival listings, artist biographies, a CD shop and CD-rom tutorials on traditional music, presented by some of Ireland's best trad musicians and singers...
The Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin is a valuable research resource with an excellent collection of recordings and publications. Their web site serves as an introduction to the work of this non-profit group. They have prepared a short series of information leaflets and the text of these are available online... for proper research one needs to visit the archive in person.
The Folk Music Society of Ireland maintains a site with details of the group's activities and publications. Based in Dublin, the Society was founded in 1971 to encourage interest and research in traditional Irish music, song and dance.
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann (often referred to as just Comhaltas or CCE) formed in Mullingar in 1951 and now has members and branches around the world. It promotes Irish folklore and music through fleadhs, competitions, touring groups, and its magazine Treoir.
Lesley Nelson's extensive Contemplator Folk Music Site includes tunes, lyrics and historical background on the folk music of Ireland, Great Britain and America. Information on Turlough O'Carolan, Thomas Moore, Percy French and lots more... this site is an amazing labour of love.
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts provides online Real Audio / Video for their Millennium Stage concerts... Karen Casey, Tommy Hayes, song collector Franke Harte, Kevin Glackin, Peter Browne, Tommy Sands, Chul Rua, Craobh Rua, Cherish the Ladies, Different Drums of Ireland, and others. Search their archives using the keyword 'Irish' to see what's on offer.
Three excellent Irish musicians (Conal Ó'Gráda on flute and tin whistle, Kevin Glackin on fiddle, and Eoin O Riabhaigh on uilleann pipes) have launched an interactive online music school called Scoiltrad, which provides lessons in traditional Irish music over the Internet. Fully integrated multimedia classes by some of the top traditional musicians in Ireland can be downloaded by students worldwide, and students can send MP3 files of their own playing to the school where the tutor will respond with feedback and guidance. Interesting idea...
The following sites look to be great resources for afficionados of particular instruments:
Uilleann Pipes (Na Píobairí Uilleann: The Uilleann Pipers, maintained by Paula Roche)
Tin Whistle (Chiff & Fipple, maintained by whacky Dale Wisely)
Concertina (maintained by Paul Schwartz)
Bodhrán Pages (at Ceolas, maintained by Josh Mittleman)

A Starter Guide to the Bodhrán
The Irish Pipe Band Association (bagpipes and drums) has an excellent site maintained by Brian Mac Mahon.
Robert Ruadh of the Isles gives a history of Gaelic harps.
10,000 Folk Songs is a bilingual German - English site with lyrics and melodies to an incredible number of folk songs. Browse the Irish listings or use the search facility to find the words to 'Danny Boy', 'I'll Take you Home Again, Kathleen' or whatever else you might be looking for...
Sabine Weiten maintains a dual language (German and English) site dedicated to folk song lyrics. Visit CantaLibre for the words to Carrickfergus, The Star of the County Down, Song for Ireland and lots more... well-known Gaelic language songs too.
Julie Henigan writes about Donegal sean-nós and the songs of the hedge schoolmasters in interesting articles originally published in Ulster Folklife in 1991 and 1994.
Here is a Health: Songs, music and stories of an Ulster community... a very interesting review from the Musical Traditions site.
UK-based Irish Dancing is a print magazine that would be of interest to students and teachers of step dancing.
Set Dancing News is an outstanding resource maintained by William Lynch.
Riverdance... Michael Flatley and Jean Butler started it all, and the international sensation continues. Tour dates, interviews, photos and lots more...
The National Concert Hall in Dublin has created a wonderful website with information on upcoming concerts, box office info (including a virtual tour to see where your seat will be!), a history of the building and lots more. Excellent site design...
The Contemporary Music Centre is Ireland's web site for new music, featuring an online database of more than 3,000 Irish compositions, comprehensive composer data, news, events, calendar, and online purchase of Irish contemporary music CDs and publications.
The Association of Irish Composers provides events listings, news, a "Young Composers' Handbook" and more...
Seven International Pioneering Irish Classical Musicians and Performers
Belfast Festival at Queen's (October & November)
Dublin Writers Festival (June)
Féile Iorras International Folk Arts Festival North Mayo (July)
Galway Arts Festival (July)
Gerard Manley Hopkins International Literary Festival Co Kildare (July)
Kerry 'Samhlaoicht' Arts Festival Tralee (Easter)
Kilkenny Arts Festival (August)
Puck Fair County Kerry (August)
Rose of Tralee Festival County Kerry (August)
Waterford Spraoí (August)
Wexford Festival Opera (October, November)
Wicklow Arts Festival (May)
The Abbey Theatre (National Theatre of Ireland, The Peacock) Dublin
An Grianán Theatre Letterkenny, County Donegal
Ardhowen Theatre Enniskillen
The Ark: A Cultural Centre for Children
Belfast Waterfront Hall
Galway Arts Centre (Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Galway Youth Theatre) Galway
Hawk's Well Theatre Sligo
Lyric Theatre Belfast
Tallaght Community Arts Centre South County Dublin
The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon was established in 1951 to stimulate public interest in and promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts. They provide funding and other resources for projects country-wide.
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the primary public supporter of arts in the north of Ireland.