Mayor launches second season of TradFest – The Fingal Sessions

by Rose Barrett
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Season two of the popular Irish music programme, TradFest – The Fingal Sessions, was officially launched on Tuesday evening (March 20) in New York by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, at joint event hosted by Fingal County Council, The WNET Group’s arts and culture streaming platform ALL ARTS, and TradFest in Fraunces Tavern, Manhattan.

The six 30 minute episodes were filmed in Ardgillan Castle, Balbriggan, which was built in 1738, and sits on 194 acres of rolling open grassland, mixed woodland and gardens overlooking the Irish Sea with views of Mourne Mountains to the north and Lambay Island to the south-east.

Presented by Fiachna Ó Braonáin of Hothouse Flowers, season two of TradFest – The Fingal Sessions features internationally renowned artists such as Eileen Ivers, Allison Russell, Eric and Ulrika Bibb, Caoi De Barra, Joy Clark, Muireann Bradley, Kaia Carter, Aoife Scott, Aine McGeeney, Aoife O’Donovan, Ultan O’Brien and Ultan Conlon, Thomas McCarthy, Sharyn Ward, Steo Wall, Thomas McCarthy, Paddy Keenan and Wallis Bird.

The programme premieres this week on New York’s WLIW21 television station and will eventually be rolled out to over 100 stations across the USA. Season One, which was filmed in Malahide Castle, is currently being screened in a Friday night prime time slot on Ireland’s most popular television channel, RTE 1.

Launching Season Two, Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, said: “Promoting Fingal as a tourism destination is a key objective within our recently published Tourism Strategy and TradFest – The Fingal Sessions allows us to use traditional Irish music to showcase Fingal to a domestic and international audience. Home to Dublin Airport, where so many people arrive and depart when visiting Ireland and within easy reach of Dublin City Centre by public transport, Fingal is an ideal location for international visitors to visit or base themselves on any trip to Ireland.”

Speaking at the launch, Diane Masciale, Vice President & General Manager, WLIW21/WLIW-FM, and Co-Executive in Charge, ALL ARTS said: “We are delighted to partner with Fingal County Council to present a second season of TradFest – The Fingal Sessions to public media audiences in the United States and showcase Ireland’s rich sights and sounds.”

Kieran Hanrahan, Festival Director of TradFest, said: “The television programme is a spin-off from TradFest in Fingal which has been running for the past two years and highlights many of the musicians who take part in TradFest each January. We are extremely grateful to Fingal County Council for their support through the first two years which has allowed both the festival and the television programme to become established.”     

AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, said: “The Council is a major supporter of the Arts and protector of our Heritage. TradFest – the Fingal Sessions has allowed us to bring the two together to showcase what’s on offer to those who visit Fingal. We’ve 88km of sandy beaches and rugged coastline, urban centres, picturesque towns and villages in idyllic rural settings as well the magnificent Liffey Valley. There are also stunning heritage properties, ancient castles, majestic gardens and a wide range of arts and cultural venues and events. Combined with a thriving hospitality sector and local producers, there is truly something for everyone and we hope this show will tempt those visiting Ireland to come and discover Fingal for themselves.”

The Chair of Fingal County Council’s Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Darragh Butler, also attended the launch along with the Director of Economic, Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development, John Quinlivan and Fingal’s County Arts Officer, Sarah O’Neill.


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