Six week Tradfest series on RTÉ showcasing the stunning Malahide Castle

by Rose Barrett
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A fantastic new traditional music series “TradFest – the Fingal Sessions”, commenced on RTÉ showcasing the spectacular Malahide Castle in Fingal.  

The series was filmed during TradFest 2023 and has already showcased Fingal in the United States.

The series can be viewed on the prime RTÉ1 slot of 8.30pm on Fridays, and will be available on the RTE Player. 

Hosted by Fiachna Ó Braonáin and featuring legendary guests Judy Collins, Moya Brennan from Clannad, Eddi Reader, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh from Altan, Ralph McTell, Gemma Hayes, Liam Ó Maonlaí from Hothouse Flowers, actor Stephen Rea reading the words of Seamus Heaney, Cathy Jordan from Dervish, De Danann founder Frankie Gavin, Niamh Regan and many more come. Definitely, a treat in store for traditional music fans!

The series was filmed as part of TradFest 2023 when Ireland’s largest traditional/folk music festival expanded to Fingal for the first time.  The TradFest Fingal programme was extended greatly in 2024 with sold out events in Fingal’s many historic sites and picturesque locations as live Irish music and culture was celebrated, along with the new FingalFringe. 

The pinnacle of the festival was the premiere of “Ocean Child” a newly commissioned musical narrative, composed by Neil Martin based on the tragic tale of the RMS Tayleur and featuring Stephen Rea, Neil and his West Ocean String Quartet, and Louise and Michelle Mulcahy. The Mulcahy sisters and acclaimed actor Stephen Rea will also feature in the Fingal Sessions series.

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Adrian Henchy said: “I am delighted to see the beautiful setting of Malahide Castle being showcased in this TradFest Fingal Sessions series and I would encourage everyone to tune in to what promises to be a very entertaining programme.” 

CE of Fingal AnnMarie Farrelly said: ‘The Fingal Sessions on RTÉ promises to be hugely enjoyable, highlighting the fantastic tourism and cultural assets of the county, such as the beautiful setting of Malahide Castle.  Already viewed widely across the USA, the series is part of the Fingal County Council Cultural and Tourism TV initiative which was recently named as the winner of the Best Tourism Initiative at the LAMA awards.”

Receiving over 100,000 visitors from home and abroad each year, Malahide Castle and Gardens is an important example of Ireland’s historic houses and Fingal is a proud owner and custodian. The Castle reflects a long history of architectural styles and is particularly noted for its interiors and important collection of furniture and artefacts. It was home to the Talbot family for nearly 800 years and with a history dating back to 1185 and is surrounded by some 260 acres of lush parkland.

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