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19 Aug 2022

PICTURES | Ukulele Céilí brings a piece of musical magic to Longford town

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Longford town resounded to the plinking of strings of tiny guitars last weekend as the first Ukulele Céilí drew visitors from far and wide for a novel summer festival. The weekend of music saw daily ukulele performances and Pig Market Lane was a hive of activity as the musicians filled the air with sound.

The festival was produced by Republic of Culture and funded by Longford Live and Local and the Creative Ireland Longford programs. Shane Crossan of Republic of Culture said the organisers were delighted with how the event went: “It was fantastic. We got a great reaction from the public and musicians alike. It was the brainchild of Sean Mulroy.”

Enthusiasts of the baby of the guitar family travelled from far and wide to attend the gathering: “Longford’s Connolly Barracks was converted into a festival Campsite for the weekend with ample space for tenting and camper van uke fans. We had visitors from Galway, Roscommon, Sligo, Omagh, Dundalk and Dublin” the Republic of Culture coordinator said.

The weekend was packed with things to do for music lovers and musicians including a festival music club, ukulele workshops and master classes, and the all-day entertainment and an artisan market at Louis Herterich’s newly opened Pig Market Lane: “It really brought a little bit of happiness to the town. People who play the ukulele are happy people, and they make other people happy, there was a really happy vibe to the weekend,” Shane told.

Sean Mulroy of the Longford resident ukulele collective ‘Sneaky Tequilas’ was delighted with the weekend: “The were many high points. The big finale by Galway Ukulele Group was really sweet. They brought members of all the other bands onstage for one of the final songs. That is what a Ukulele Céilí festival is all about.

“The Saturday night concert was really well attended. There were a lot of guerrilla gigs, where musicians would just show up in a pub and play, that was brilliant. The craic around the town was fantastic,” Sean concluded.

Other high points of the weekend included the Ukevision, an U16 talent competition and Ukulele band performances by The Rugs, Ukulele Tuesday, Ukephoric, and Longford’s Coffee Beans.

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