trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

I know this isn’t a trip advice site, but I’d love some session-oriented advice for an upcoming October trip to Ireland (our second - first trip we went to the southwest). Initial plan is to fly into Dublin and rent a car, go through the ancient sites in Meath, and then make our way through Mayo, Sligo and Donegal and perhaps, depending on Brexit, go into the North a bit.

Thoughts on itinerary but also music, where would sessions be concentrated (i.e., like Ennis in Clare), how open would they be etc. would be much appreciated!!

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

What instrument are you planning to bring? Think that is important. More than one bodhran, guitar etc. can be one to many sometimes :)

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

Probably just my whistle. Though I’m an accompanist I understand that guitar, bouzouki etc. will probably not be welcome.

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

Westport, Co Mayo . Glencolmcille, Co Donegal

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

If the sessions in Glencolmcille are anything like previous years (I haven’t been there since 2015, though), I don’t think you’d be excluded per se if you brought a guitar or a bouzouki (Tuesdays+Thursday used to be hosted by Margaret - fiddle/vocals, and Derek - guitar/vocals/fiddle). You still have to know your stuff, of course, and you may also find the repertoire somewhat different to what you’re used to (especially if the Byrnes are there, as they always were on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays). If you want to play tunes yourself, bring the tin whistle.

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

Thanks for the feedback!

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

In Donegal:

Letterkenny often has sessions. Central Bar? Good base, great town.
Bunbeg has Huidai Begs, Monday and Saturdays, last I checked. Could be fab, welcoming, for sure. Excellent bed and breakfast at that pub, too.
Gortahork has Billy’s, Tuesday eves.
Glenties, check the Highland hotel, and have the seafood chowder, by all means! Also check the Glen Tavern, just down the road.

South Sligo:
Check Murphy’s hotel in Tubbercurry, also Brennan’s, same town.
Gorteen—Coleman center, you must visit. Might be a session at the Roisin Dubh. Ask at Coleman Center.
Sligo town—there’s a long list on this site, good luck.
North Sligo:
Take your car around Mullabawn and Mulloghmore; and the Glenariff Horseshoe area, among others. Gorgeous scenery.

Mayo:
Newport has a regular session, I think.

In general, be very polite and fairly quiet! Have a wonderful trip, and message me anytime.

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

Thanks Melissa! This is super helpful and much appreciated.

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

Check out Matt Molloy’s Pub in Westport if you happen to be in Co. Mayo, but call ahead first and see what’s shakin’ before you go…think sessions there are usually on Friday and Saturday nights…..I caught a really good one there last year!

Re: trip advice for Sligo, Donegal etc

Definitely on my list Mike. :)