The event opened with a welcome from H.E. Ambassador Ciaran Madden who then invited Paul Gallagher to address the invited guests. He spoke of the close ties Ireland had with the UAE and hoped that these would be further developed with the opening of embassies in Dublin and Abu Dhabi.
The formalities were concluded with a cake being cut by H.E. Ambassador Ciaran Madden, H.E. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Paul Gallagher.
Inis Oirr then took to the stage to entertain the guests at the reception held in the Aloft hotel. The outdoor venue was filled with Inis Oirr’s toe-tapping jigs and reels, moving airs and traditional songs.
Fiodhna and Inis Oirr entertained the crowds in Bahrain on November 20th 2009 at the Gulf Gaelic Games. The tournament that was attended by mens’ and ladies’ teams from across the gulf was held that the Bahrain Rugby Football club grounds. During the day the teams played each other to establish the mens and ladies champions in various divisions. The spectators were entertained with top quality football from the talented players representing their clubs. Just after the presentations of prizes, Inis Oirr took to the stage and played a variety of tunes, songs and airs. The audience were very appreciative and still had energy to tap their feet and clap their hands, even at the end of a long day at the event.
Inis Oirr then made their way to the bar where a session started. Tunes and songs were played long into the night. It was a very enjoyable end to a weekend of music in Bahrain.
On Saturday September 19th last, Inis Oirr were featured on ‘The Dear Green Place’, an Irish and Celtic music radio show hosted by Cindy Funk. The show, broadcast by WYSO in Ohio, U.S.A., features a mixture of live and recorded Irish and Celtic music.
“I heard about you from a friend of mine”, Cindy said, “and plan to play some of your music on my radio show tomorrow, spotlighting your unusual location. It proves that Celtic music is EVERYWHERE!”
Apparently, Cindy found out about the band from a mutual friend and featured their music when doing a story about Celtic music around the world. Other bands were featured from Switzerland, Spain and Poland but the United Arab Emirates got her vote for the most unusual location for Irish Music.
Two of Inis Oirr’s selections were featured – a song called Bridget Donoghue and a set of reels called The Green Mountain Set.
Here is a recording of the radio show featuring Inis Oirr.
Inis Oirr played at the St Patrick’s Festival of Music at the Irish Village, Dubai from March 14th-17th. They entertained the large crowds with their jigs, reels and songs. The festival started with a sell out concert by Sir Bob Geldof and culminated with large crowds attending the live music on St Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March.
This was Inis Oirr’s biggest gig to date and their music went down very well with the large and appreciative crowd. Dave Cattanach, the manager of the Irish Village, was thrilled with Inis Oirr’s music. ‘We’d love to have you back next year!’, he said after the last set of the night. A great end to a great week.
Here is a short video of the performance.The tune is Jenny Pickin’ Cockles
As a fitting end to a week of music for St. Patrick’s celebrations in the UAE, Bobby Gardiner, the renound button accordionist from Co Clare, joined Inis Oirr for two gigs in Abu Dhabi. His daughter, Fiodhna who plays the tin whistle in the band, was delighted to share the stage with her father. “This has become an annual gig that I really enjoy,” says Bobby, “and I really like Inis Oirr’s arrangements and variety of instruments.” Bobby has travelled the world over the past 40 years as a professional musician, playing traditional music from the Catskill Mountains in New York State, to the Great Wall of China. He has several recordings made over the years, including the popular ‘Memories of Clare’ album and The Master’s Choice. He can be found playing at the Bru BoruCultural Centre in Cashel, Co Tipperary during the summer months. Check out this page on Wikipedia for more information about Bobby. For some videos of his music, check out this link to YouTube.
Inis Oirr were featured in ‘m’, the Saturday magazine published as part of Abu Dhabi’s National newspaper. On a back page article, entitled ’My… Band’, Inis Oirr chatted about a variety of topics related to Irish music, including the band’s name, how the group was formed, the band members and their instruments, regular and upcoming gigs and what it means to be part of the group.
Inis Oirr provided the entertainment at a reception for the travel industry in Abu Dhabi, as part of Tourism Ireland’s second trade mission to the United Arab Emirates on 23rd February 2009.Tourism Ireland and four of their trade partners, the g hotel in Galway, Spa Ireland, the National Stud and Dublin Tourism, offered workshops in the Hilton Hotel, Abu Dhabi that promoted Ireland as a travel destination for holiday makers from the UAE. At the reception that followed, Inis Oirr played a selections of jigs, reel, airs and songs. They finished the evening with a series of acoustic tunes played for a small and appreciative audience.
Photo from left: Ged Palmer, Marianne Campbell, Pádraig Hyland, Her Excellency Mary McAleese, Dr. Martin McAleese, Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland, Mick Giblin, St. John Kelliher, Micheal Martin.
At the invitation of the Irish Ambassador, Mr Tom Russell, Inis Oirr opened the presidential reception at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi with two selections of jigs and reels and the traditional slow air played by Fíodhna “Ar Eireann Ni Neosfainn Ce Hi”. Accompanied by her husband, Dr. Martin Mc Aleese and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mícheal Martin, the President met with the Irish Community and their friends who had gathered to welcome her to Abu Dhabi. Her Excellency thanked all those who were involved in the organisation of the event and had some special words to describe Inis Oirr’s performance : “Our music travels so lightly and so easily and it’s wonderful, isn’t it, to be in the company of the great music that we had from Inis Oirr – weren’t they absolutely first class, just stunning.”
Fiodhna and husband, Padraig perform a private gig on the beach of Five Star Mina A’ Salam, Madinet Jumeriah Hotel, Dubai. United Arab Emirates for Irish business delegates. While evening temperatures rose to about 44 degrees, there was a lovely light breeze blowing across the water onto the dance floor.
Dubai Eye Radio 103.8 FM invited Adu Dhabi’s traditional music group Inis Oirr to perform live on their Saturday afternoon Music and Cultural program. The show comprised of tunes and interviews with the different band members. There were requests for tunes from listeners and information about upcoming gigs was also given.
Inis Oirr band members spoke about their different instruments. Here is the clip.
From 2004-2011, Fíodhna, Pádraig and Inis Oirr performed for the Irish abroad at St. Patrick’s Day Balls across the Middle East – in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, U.A.E., Manama, Bahrain and Muscat, Oman. Here is one such event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Abu Dhabi:
By popular demand, Fíodhna and Inis Oirr performed regular concerts at the Delma Café, Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi from 2004-2006. The Cultural Foundation comprises the National Archives, theNational Library and the Institute of Culture and Art, which operates under the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.
In the absence of traditional Irish music sessions in the Middle East, Fiodhna, Padraig and friends Mick Giblin and Ged Palmer took turns hosting house sessions. Fíodhna’s father, Bobby joined them on a few occasions, as did Fíodhna’s sister, Lynda and brother-in-law, Tom Murphy. Many new tunes were learned in this way. Here are two such sessions.
As part of the Moravian Junior Choir Festival, staged at the Cape Town City Hall, Fiodhna was invited by Choir Master, Reginald Hans to perform as a guest artist. She played a few traditional slow airs for the Junior Choir members and their parents who were in attendance.
Fiodhna, husband Padraig and American friends Katy and Phillip Katzmann play Irish music in the Kuwaiti desert, having set up camp for the night. Perched near a Bedouin camp, having lit a fire and cooked Irish stew, they play reels and jigs into the small hours! A session with a difference – that they will remember forever.
As part of the Millennium celebrations in Pattaya, Thailand, Fíodhna, Pádraig and Declan Casey played a number of gigs in the Irish bar. With enthusiastic crowds, the music continued into the early hours.