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Please note!

Online registration will close on Saturday 22nd June at 10 pm.

Piping students need to pre-register online with

Na Píobairí Uilleann at or by contacting them at 

Welcome to the official website of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, The Willie Clancy Summer School, a major traditional Irish music, song and dance event held annually in Miltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland with instrument and dance classes, lectures, workshops, recitals and céilithe all through the week.

Organising Committee: 

Harry Hughes (Administrator) tel. 086 877 3747 

Éamon McGivney tel. 065 708 7417 or 087 950 0006 

Séamus Ó Rócháin tel. 087 926 4256 

Deirdre Comber tel. 087-673 5172

and the coordinators of classes/workshops and venue managers.


Please direct all enquiries to:

Please do not send queries to the summer school's Facebook, Instagram or Twitter/X accounts.

A full list of instrument tutors can be viewed here

Accommodation contact: Maureen Kilduff 089-232 0498 email:

An accommodation list can be viewed and downloaded here


The Willie Clancy Summer School is an Irish registered charity. 


To read or download the School's Child Welfare and Safeguarding Policy please click here.


SSWC@50 Photographic Exhibition Video

A selection of photographs from past Willie Clancy Summer Schools was compiled to commemorate the 50th summer school in 2022. It was on view in the Community Centre for the duration of last year's school and is now available to watch on YouTube here.

The YouTube logo below is a link to the summer school's channel of all SSWC videos.

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For a list of the Summer School's sponsors and benefactors please visit the About page.

Farewells and a welcome

In recent years some well-known and highly regarded tutors have retired from the Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy dance workshops.


Paddy Neylon led the beginners sets for many years and brought an immense knowledge of Clare set dancing to his classes, which were always conducted with good humour and much encouragement. Like all good tutors he instilled a love of traditional dance in his students and many of them went on to become proficient tutors themselves.


Betty McCoy brought an enthusiastic dynamic to  set dance teaching. She coaxed the best out of people

who might have little natural aptitude for dancing but could make a fair presentation of their footwork at the end of the week. She was an authoritative, well-respected figure on the set dancing scene and gave workshops all over the country and overseas.


Michael Tubridy, versatile musician and master step dancer, was influential in bringing the old-style step dance classes to the summer school. He has published extensively on Irish traditional step dancing and is one of the leaders of the Dan Furey Dance Group dedicated to preserving and popularising the dances of famous Clare dancing masters Dan Furey and James Keane.


Local man Aidan Vaughan, master step dancer and set dancer, has also retired from commitments to the week-long tuition but we hope he drops in to various workshops during the week to demonstrate his intricate steps and natural flair for dancing. His act will be a hard one to follow but his exacting standards are what students should aspire to.


The organising committee thanks all of them for their huge contributions to the summer school and wishes them well.


The summer school would also like to record its deep gratitude to Michael O’Loughlin who organised the Marquee and GAA grounds for dance workshops, céilithe and recitals. He brought his technical skills and problem-solving abilities to create a safe and pleasant environment for  bands,  dance tutors, students and visitors. He and his wife Mary were devoted followers of the Tulla and Kilfenora bands.


And we fondly remember Terry Cullen who passed away in 2023. Terry was originally involved in céilí dancing but then took to set dancing  and joined  Brooks Academy where he was a valued  organiser and committee member. He was part of the Brooks Academy team at the summer school and contributed hugely to the success of their workshops. May he rest in peace.


But the dancing continues and versatile dancer Martin Hughes now comes on board and will teach a variety of set dances during the week. We welcome Martin on to our dance tutors panel.

From Derradda, Newport, Co. Mayo, Martin comes from a long line of dancers with his grandparents involved in the revival of the "Derradda Set" in the late 1970s. Martin has danced from a young age, starting with Irish Dancing, and moved to Set Dancing and Old Style Step Dancing at the age of 12. Martin teaches in Derradda during the winter and is involved in the running of the summer céilí's calling sets and céilí dances which involves the visitors that attend. Martin is step dancer and has performed at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy at the Thursday night dance recital.

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Martin Hughes

SSWC 2024 International Guests

Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy welcomes the Canadian group Gairloch to this year's summer school. They will perform at the international concert on Tuesday 9th July as well as the singing recital on Friday 11th July and the Muiris Ó Rócháin Memorial Concert on Saturday 12th of July. Gairloch will also present afternoon workshops on Québecois traditional fiddling (Weds. 10th July) and sea shanty singing (Thurs. 11th July) at the Mill Marquee - both workshops will be from 2.30pm to 4pm.  A member of the group, Kate Bevan-Baker, will present the afternoon lecture on Wednesday 10th July. Times and venues for the concerts and lecture can be found here.

You can read more about Gairloch here.

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Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy also  welcomes the American acoustic roots and bluegrass band The Scuffletown Trio who are scheduled for two appearances at the school. On the afternoon of Monday the 8th of July, from 2.30pm until 4pm, they will present a talk/workshop entitled  ‘Irish Roots to Appalachian Branches’, exploring the cultural connections between Irish traditional music and its Appalachian off-shoots, and on the afternoon of Tuesday the 9th, from 5 pm, they will perform in the international concert - both events take place at the Mill Marquee.

You can read more about Scuffletown here


EPV approved courses for teachers

Know the Score - Read Music the Trad Way

This CPD Course, designed by Dr Liz Doherty and aimed at traditional musicians and teachers, is offered in partnership with I Teach Trad and certified by the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  It is also DES approved for EPV purposes.


To register go to:


The Course runs at St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point, Monday 8th to Friday 12th July, 10am -2.30pm.  For further details contact

Dr. Liz Doherty is a traditional musician and educator from Co. Donegal. She is founder and director of I Teach Trad, a platform specialising in professional development and training for traditional music teachers

Whistle & Dance in the Primary Classroom

This EPV approved course is aimed at primary teachers. The course aims to equip participants with the skills, knowledge and methodologies to teach both tin whistle and traditional dance in the primary school classroom. Participants will be enabled  to explore their current  music and dance practices and develop lessons and workshops for use in the classroom.


To register go to the summer school's online registration page here


The course  runs at St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point, Monday 8th to Friday 12th July, 10am-2.30pm. For further details contact

Documentary film: Legacy of the Piper

Legacy of The Piper - Miltown Malbay is an in-depth feature length documentary/film on the life of Willie Clancy and the impact of  Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy on Irish traditional music & culture.


The production of the film by Roots Reel Films was made possible in consultation with, and support from, the organising committee of the summer school. Filming started in 2022, the 50th year of the school, and concluded in 2023, on its 51st anniversary.


The documentary is a powerful visual medium, informing the viewer of the roots and growth of the legacy of Willie Clancy, and the birth & development of the summer school, a transformative event in the history of Irish traditional music, at home and internationally.


The film is interwoven with personal experiences, observations and reflections from a wide range of interviews, including family & friends of Willie Clancy, traditional musicians, tutors, members of the organising committee, students, and many more.


Yuvi Basanth, the film's director, would like to express gratitude to all who have made Legacy of the Piper - Miltown Malbay possible by sharing their memories, time and experiences.


The film - produced without any  sponsorship or grant aid - will have its premiere on Wednesday 10th July at the Miltown Malbay Community Centre.

Please support the project by purchasing the film on DVD or USB formats. You can contact Yuvi at

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The University of Limerick’s BLAS International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music has joined forces with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy to promote deeper understanding and appreciation of Irish Traditional music. Click here for more information. 

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Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy have had a long association with the Irish Traditional Music Archive whose ITMA Field Recording team are in attendance every year  to record all official events for the archive.

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