Posted by: mdmusingsie | July 5, 2012

Lá Gaelach

Today’s theme at the Volvo Ocean Race gala was Lá Gaelach – a day to showcase the best of Ireland in culture, language and art.

There was plenty of traditional music at the Race and Global villages, but there was no shortage in between as well.  I started the day at the Galway City Museum where a trio of musicians was playing trad.  Two of the three were sean-nós dancers including Seosamh Ó Neachtain.  That didn’t stop members of the crowd both young and old from showing off their fancy footwork.  A céilí nearly broke out when a group performed a four hand reel.

Some of the best of Irish food producers in the area are on display all week at the food pavilion along with local artisans in the crafts tent.   You could learn a cúpla focal today at assorted events and if the memory isn’t quite what it used to be, the Discover Ireland booth had small fold-out brochures with a few handy phrases along with phonetic pronunciations for you to take along and practice.  Children were certainly not left out with Irish storytelling, puppetry, and theater.  I actually did hear quite a bit of Irish spoken today, which can be a rarity in Galway.

The penultimate act was one of Ireland’s premier groups, DeDannan.  As if that wasn’t enough, the highlight of the day was a concert by one of my favorite Irish bands – Altan.  These were all free concerts, to boot – double bonus!  Altan were joined by many guest including Brendan Begley and Johnny Óg Connolly (who played accordion at the museum earlier in the day), along with Seosamh Ó Neachtain and another sean-nós dancer who’s name I didn’t catch.   As with all good things, the night did have to end.

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