The village of Cleggan staged its first Fringe Festival last month – venturing into the shoulder months, to extend the brief high season – with organisers calling it ‘a
runaway success’. 

Hosted in the four village bars, a wide range of musicians and music played to packed, enthusiastic houses and provided something for all tastes. 

Kicking off on Friday evening in the Pier Bar, Conor Yule and friends launched his new rock album. A traditional music session followed in Joyce’s Bar, with John Joe Forde, Mick Fahy and Ulick Joyce packing the house, sean nós dancing by Ronan Nee demonstrating his championship skills, and finishing with Friday evening’s regular set dancing. 

The weekly Cleggan Community Market opened proceedings on Saturday morning, joined by some visiting food stalls and offering seafood and shellfish, amongst other local culinary and craft produce. Alan, Geoff and Mousie played a rousing lunch-time session in
Oliver’s Bar. 

Returning to the Pier Bar, a foot-stomping ukelele session, with uke players from Cleggan, Moyard and Galway, opened for the magical Sonny Condell and Robbie Overson (of Tír na nÓg and Scullion) who crafted a beautiful acoustic set, after which proceedings moved onto
Oliver’s for an electric performance of original songs by Greg Yule’s band in the early evening. 

Liverpool-based Seafoam Green took the floor in Newman’s Bar with their lovely pedal steel led Americana set, followed by Ritchie, Eugene and guests, who entertained into the small hours. The musical week-end finished with Rob Strong’s always popular blues rock set in Newman’s Bar on Sunday lunchtime, followed by an open mic ‘Parting Glass’ session, which saw many of the remaining musicians taking the floor. 

As ever, there are unsung heroes behind the scenes who were essential to the success of the festival, notably Shane Forsythe for the design of the flyers and posters, Greg Yule for equipment supply and technical advice, Danielle Keany for stirling work on social media and our publican hosts, Maureen and Susan Joyce, Bernie and Ritchie Newman, Noreen and Peter Higgins from Olivers Seafood Bar, and Chris McDonnell from the Pier Bar.  

Last but not least, our thanks to our major sponsor, Galway County Council. 

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @Cleggan Fringe Festival for updates on future events