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.
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.
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:
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.
From 1997-1998, Fíodhna, husband, Padraig and friend, Brian Gavin played regular sessions at the Dubliner’s Pub, Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai. With Fiodhna on whistles, Padraig on keyboard and multi-instrumentalist, Brian playing accordion, guitar and whistle, they thoroughly enjoyed these musical nights.
Other musical events that year included Dubai Irish society evenings; entertaining Irish professional golfers for the Dubai Desert Classic and concerts at the Dubai Country Club and Sailing Club.