Keadue, Co. Roscommon - Award Winning Town

Turlough O'Carolan

In 1978 The O'Carolan Harp Festival Committee was formed and over the years The O'Carolan Harp Festival and Summer School has been staged in Keadue to honour the great harper. The programme of events for the festival includes Ceilis, Music sessions, lectures, International Harp Competitions and Door Dancing. The Summer School offers tuition to students in traditional music, set dancing and sean nós dancing.
Turlough O’Carolan, blind harper and composer, was born in Co Meath, in 1670. As a young boy, he moved, with his family, to Co. Roscommon. It was there that O'Carolan came under the guidance and tutelage of the MacDermott Roe family.

Often referred to as the last of the Irish bards, it was at the age of 21 that O'Carolan's life as a bard and composer began. He travelled throughout the country, entertaining and composing music for his patrons. Over 200 of his tunes have survived. "O'Carolan's Concerto" has become one of his most played and popular compositions. O'Carolan died in 1738 and his remains now lie in the Abbey (built by the O’Duignan family in the 14th century) in Kilronan Cemetery.