Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Obviously, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork are considered the hotbeds of Irish music, but incidentally, they are also places in which it is extremely difficult to find accommodations. So what OTHER cities in Ireland (okay, towns) would be worthy of our consideration for their music scene, for one, but also (and just as important) with a good public transport system or condensed enough so that it is navigable by foot? (We cannot get auto insurance in Ireland; therefor, no car). And also, places that have no shortage of (affordable) living accommodations!

Hmm… I feel like I am asking an impossible question here.

All imput is appreciated!
Cheers.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

I’ve never been, but if I were to go, I’d sleep on a wet stone in County Clare if there was no place that could put me up for the night

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Hard to go wrong in Ennis. Sessions every night. Always had fun in Sligo too.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Belfast is one of the absolute best spots on this island to find trad music, and some of the friendliest musicians you’ll find, but they really do like to play fast! It’s a very compact city and is very easy to get around on foot. If you’re going to be in Dublin, there are frequent bus and train services to Belfast.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Kinvara county Clare has lots of music and accomodation. It’s not far from Doolin and Lisdoonvarna.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Outside of festival season definitely Belfast or Ennis to my mind, if you are after lots of sessions.

There are beautiful sessions all over Ireland though (well lots of it). I have never been but would love to make it to Kerry some day.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Miltown Malbay, even more than the above mentioned cities, in my opinion.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Belfast or Ennis. Though to be honest you can find trad sessions in most towns/villages throughout Ireland.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

doublepost

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

West Kerry, especially Dingle town. Even in the winter there’s plenty of music.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Doolin co.Clare - pretty much every pub has music and we were there off season [late October]
B&Bs weren’t hard to find

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Lots of music at all levels in Clare - if you like, I’ll try my best to advise if you’re in the region. PM me.

Cheers
David

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Hmm, I’m not sure, Renée, that even the denizens of Limerick would regard their city (or county) as a traditional music ‘hotbed’. One of the reasons those four cities have a shortage of accommodation is that they all have universities and other colleges.

The only places which have a good transport system in the Republic are the four aforementioned cities and Waterford (which doesn’t have a decent traditional music scene). Have a look at the Bus Éireann site - http://buseireann.ie/. Services to rural areas are poor throughout Ireland. So, even if you based yourself in Ennis, you wouldn’t be able to take a bus to a session in, say, Feakle or Miltown Malbay and get back on the same day.

As for accommodation, your best bet is to look at this site - http://www.daft.ie/. You’ll be lucky to find a flat or cottage for less than €500 per month in many counties and even luckier if you can persuade its owner to grant you a short-term lease.

Both Belfast and Derry in the North have pretty good transport systems, but the latter doesn’t have much of a traditional music scene. One of the best sites for accommodation is http://www.propertynews.com.

Ennis is probably the best recommendation for sessions (https://thesession.org/sessions/search?day=&q=ennis), but it’s not especially cheap in terms of accommodation. It’s virtually impossible to find rented housing in Dingle, so forget that one. Kinvara is ridiculously expensive and the Sligo scene is almost defunct.

In Norn Iron I’d suggest Ballycastle in County Antrim, but again housing would be a problem.

You haven’t mentioned which months you’ll be visiting. Rental prices rocket between June and August.

Ignore crass comments such as ‘you can find trad sessions in most towns/villages throughout Ireland’ - utter rubbish.

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Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

About 12 years ago, Sligo town was a buzzing place for trad. I was there again a few years later and the music seemed to have lost the battle with wide-screen TVs and live sport. Perhaps hosting the All Ireland Fleadh last year will have reignited the flame.

There are also smaller places in the same general area where you can find sessions of high quality (if not necessarily in great quantity) - Goirtin (Co. Sligo), Ballaghaderreen (Co. Roscommon) and Carrick-on-Shannon (Co. Leitrim), to name three.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Yep, but CMO, there’s no way one could be based in Sligo and visit sessions in Gurteen or Ballaghderreen without one’s own transport, and Carrick’s a good thirty and more miles away!

Renée, have you checked the Irish house-sitting sites?

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Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Thanks everybody! This is the kind of response I was hoping my question would generate.

I don’t know how ye Irish find housing these days! It seems impossible. We tried living in Cork in early November, and the straw that broke the camel’s back was either:
1) when we found out we couldn’t get auto insurance (therefore no car) and thus could not accept the ONLY apartment offered to us on the outskirts of the city with virtually no public transport running through it, or;
2) trying to set up a viewing with a real estate agent who informed me that 16 other people would be viewing the flat along with us. SIX-TEEN. Most of whom were probably Irish, and some of whom were surely employed. We were neither.

If the housing/music situation is better in the North, that wouldn’t work for us anyhow because I cannot get a residence card in the UK like I could in Ireland. And all this is because my husband is a British citizen. Yep, if only he were Spanish or Maltese or something, then maybe I could more easily live in Britain. EU Free movement rights… It still boggles my mind!!

@Scutcher : we do periodically check housesitting websites, as we are registered to a few. However, it’s slim pickings in Ireland, and the ones that are available seem to be in the middle of nowhere (which I wouldn’t mind, but not without a car…) Good suggestion though!

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

I agree with DavidT! County Clare is the place! I have been to Dublin, it depends on the Pub and the night of the week. Belfast is OK.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

Can I have you folks’ awesome input on another thing? I should have added this in the very beginning. In addition to looking for a music-friendly, non-car-dependent area with affordable housing available, what about an area that has jobs to ‘spare’, and I mean jobs of any kind; jobs that don’t really require qualifications. We are looking into Ennis right now but according to job search websites (if that’s any indication), there are few positions available. Am I right in guessing that Ennis may be a place where positions are posted on shop and pub windows (for instance)?
Cheers.
Renee.

Re: Which places in Ireland are best for trad after Cork/Dublin/Galway/Limerick?

yes

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