Fíodhna played whistles and low whistle with traditional Irish band, Inis Oirr from 2004-2011, who provided entertainment in some of the most luxurious venues across the Middle East, keeping Irish music alive there. See www.inis-oirr.com for further details.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kicked off early in Oman with Fiodhna and Inis Oirr playing music outdoors at the pool area of the Hyatt hotel. A temporary stage had been erected next to the main pool and as guests ate their brunch, Inis Oirr meddled in reels, jigs and airs which seemed to please the audience. After a while, a group of locally trained Irish dancers took to the stage. Apart from receiving a free tan, with temperatures rising to 40 degrees Celsius, it was an extremely enjoyable gig.
Inis Oirr will play in The Bar at The Club, Abu Dhabi on Thursday 5th November, starting at 8.30pm. The venue has been re-organised and it should provide a much better listening experience. Looking forward to a great evening of music and song.
Note: Due to Club regulations, non-members need to pre-book.
On Thursday 15th October, Inis Oirr played their first concert gig since the summer holidays, on a newly organised stage at The Club, Abu Dhabi for a large expatriate audience. A number of people commented on tunes, airs and songs played, the clarity of sound and nice atmosphere.
Mick sang ‘The Devil and the Widow” which received a great reception from the people who were listening carefully to the words! Fiodhna, Marianne and Ged all played solos during the gig. Fiodhna played a slow version of ‘The Foggy Dew’ on low whistle, accompanied by Mick on guitar and Padraig on keyboard. Ged joined in the second time round with lovely harmony notes. Marianne played a Scottish selection on the fiddle and Ged played a selection of jigs on the banjo. This added a new dimension to Inis Oirr’s repertoire.
A big thanks to Steve and all in the club for making such improvements to the venue.
Inis Oirr played their first ’session’ at The Club on April 15th 2010. Their usual concert-style performance was changed to a ‘session’ style, in line with the more traditional sessions found in bars and pubs around Ireland and Scotland. Sitting in the corner of the room, and with the help of a little amplification, their music filled the bar and was well received by an appreciative audience. A few members even took to the floor for a mini-set!
On St Patrick’s Day, 17th March, the Irish Embassy was officially opened in Abu Dhabi. The event was hosted by H.E. Ambassador Ciaran Madden, Irish Ambassador to the UAE and was attended by H.E. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the UAE’s Minister for foreign Trade, Paul Gallagher, Ireland’s Attorney General and other distinguished ambassadors and guests.
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 November 20th, Inis Oirr will entertain participants at the Gulf Gaelic Games being organised by the Bahrain Irish Society. The Gulf Gaelic Games in Bahrain is an annual event for Irish people and their friends based in the Arabian Peninsula, who play football and hurling in keenly contested competitions. The event is being hosted at the Bahrain Rugby Football Club where a crowd of 1500 people are expected. The band are on stage directly after the prize giving ceremony which is estimated to be around 7pm. This has the makings of a great night’s music.
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.
Download the article here.
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.
Inis Oirr have been booked to play in the Irish Village, Dubai for 4 nights in mid-March, 2009. The band will be part of the Village’s 5 Days of St. Patrick’s Day festivities at The Irish Village.
This Year’s St. Patrick’s Day is part of a five days extravaganza.
The week starts off with the return of one of Ireland’s favorite sons – Sir Bob Geldof, who will perform live on Friday 13th March.
…the festivities go on with Traditional Irish Music from Inis Oirr and Traditional Dancing.”
(Excerpt from the Irish Village Website)
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.”
The words that Her Excellency Mary Mc Aleese, The President of Ireland, used to describe Inis Oirr’s performance at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi. At the invitation of the Irish Ambassador, Mr Tom Russell, Inis Oirr opened the reception with two selections of jigs and reels and the beautiful slow air “Ar Eireann Ni Neosfainn Ce Hi” played by Fiodhna. Accompanied by her husband Dr Martin Mc Aleese and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin, the President met with the Irish Community and their friends who had gathered to welcome her to Abu Dhabi.
The President thanked all those who were involved in the organisation of the event and had some special words for Inis Oirr:
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.
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, the National Library and the Institute of Culture and Art, which operates under the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.