top of page

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:


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 to which we'll be adding more videos shortly.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Youtube

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


Please note that all students must pre-register online for this year's summer school. 

Online registration is now open here.

Registration fee for the week: €150 (euro) including online registration fees.

Registered students have free access to lectures, recitals, afternoon events at Mill Marquee, Irish and Scottish Gaelic language classes, and reduced admission to all céilithe. The registration fee does not include the Concert on Saturday 9th July.

Registration administrator: David McDermott

email:   tel: 087 619 6539

All instrumental classes will be graded.

Piping students must pre-register with Na Píobairí Uilleann.

Pre-register online at

Contact or 01 873 0093.

Only the piping classes take musical instrument absolute beginners. Beginners may attend singing and dancing workshops and Dúchas an Cheoil/Scope of Irish Music.

If you have any issues or queries regarding registration please contact the Organising Committee.

Programme  contacts:

Harry Hughes 087-877 3747, Éamon McGivney 087-950 0006, Séamus Ó Rócháin 087-926 4256,

Deirdre Comber 087-673 5172.

Summer school email:

Please do not send queries via Facebook or any of the school's social media channels.

Accommodation contact: Maureen Kilduff 089-232 0498 email:

An accommodation list can be viewed and downloaded here

Seán Keane RIP

All at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy are shocked and saddened by the recent death of master fiddle player Seán Keane. Seán was a supporter of the school from its inception and attended regularly as a performer, tutor and visiting musician at Máire O’Keeffe’s fiddle workshops over the decades. He and his brother James first visited Miltown Malbay as young boys in 1957 when the first County Clare Fleadh was held there and he was a frequent visitor to the area since then, absorbing the music and lore of Willie Clancy, Junior Crehan, Bobby Casey, Joe Ryan, Patrick Kelly and many other West Clare musicians. SSWC was privileged to screen ITMA’s documentary ‘A Portrait of an Artist: Seán Keane’ at last year’s summer school.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam ceolmhar.

WCD12-380 sean keane web.jpg

Photo: Tony Kearns

session-mary bergin 2.jpg

SSWC Tribute to Mary Bergin

The Social Samhraidh Willie Clancy Tribute is an annual event where the School honours a person who has made a remarkable contribution to Irish traditional music.

Widely recognised as one of the great masters of the tin whistle, Mary Bergin will be the subject of this year’s Tribute at the 51st Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy. The Tribute will take place on Tuesday 4th July at 3.00pm and it will be facilitated by her long-time friend and fellow musician James Kelly. More information here.

Photo: Tony Kearns

know the score masthead.png

Dr. Liz Doherty has created a simple, 4-step system and a suite of accompanying resources, all designed specifically with the traditional musician in mind. Using examples from traditional music you will learn how to read and write down music using staff notation.


This course is being run in partnership with the Willie Clancy Summer School and will be delivered as part of their events programme from July 3rd-7th, 2023. Prospective students will have to register using the link given below.

Course Venue:  St. Joseph's Secondary School, Spanish Point.

This short course is for:

  • Traditional musicians on any melody instrument who want to learn to read music;

  • Traditional music teachers who want to upskill;

  • School teachers who want to upskill;


The course is designed and delivered by I Teach Trad and is certified by the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). Participants who complete the course will be awarded a CPD certificate.

For more information and to register please go to

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

Cruit Éireann | Harp Ireland Scholarship Award

CÉHI, in partnership with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy is delighted to award Bláithín Ní Shúilleabháin, from South Armagh, and Leah Elwood, from Galway, scholarships to attend the Willie Clancy Summer School between 1-9th July this year. The summer school features a star-studded line up of musicians and harpers, including Kathleen Loughnane, Paul Dooley, Laoise Kelly, Cormac de Barra, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Grainne Hambly, Aisling Lyons and many more. Congratulations to our two scholarship recipients, and many thanks to all those who applied; the talent and commitment of our younger generation of harpers is extraordinary – keep harping!

Tá áthas ar CÉHI faighteoirí na scoláireachtaí Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy a fhógairt: Bláithín Ní Shúilleabháin, as deisceart Ard Mhacha, agus Leah Elwood, as Co. na Gaillimhe. Beidh deis ag Bláithín agus Leah foghlaim faoi treoir ceoltóirí agus cruitirí den chéad scoth ag an scoil samhraidh idir an 1ú agus an 9ú Iúil i mbliana, le Kathleen Loughnane, Paul Dooley, Laoise Kelly, Cormac De Barra, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Grainne Hambly agus Aisling Lyons ina measc.

Comhghairdeas arís leo, agus ár mbuíochas le gach cruitire a sheol iarratas chugainn i mbliana – is cinnte go bhfuil traidisiún na cruite slán sábhailte i measc ár nglúin óg!

Screenshot 2023-05-30 at 21.11.17.png

The Donegal Fiddlers’ Portrait Collection Exhibition

The Donegal Fiddlers’ Portrait Collection Exhibition is a documentation project undertaken by Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí in 2022 with the support of the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaion. The project set out to produce a photographic portrait of each fiddler associated with the Donegal fiddle tradition over the age of eighteen years. The collection was designed to be produced by a professional photographer and capture the individual nature of each of the subjects.

    The project was tendered to a number of highly qualified professional photographers with the commission won by Dónal Glackin. Dónal is a full time professional photographer, videographer and documentary film maker. His work appears regularly on TG4 as well as RTÉ television. One of the stand out aspects of Dónal’s tender was to also capture each instrument as it is associated with its specific owner. His work has shown that in many cases,

the nature of the fiddle as a subject often holds the same ‘personality’ as the fiddler. In the process of delivering the project so far, he has also captured images of a tin fiddle, a form of the instrument which is strongly connected with the tradition in Donegal.

    To date the project has seen Dónal capture and produce portraits of over 130 fiddlers from the Donegal tradition and their fiddles. The project is on-going and we are continually contacting other subjects yet to be documented.

    The exhibition has been shown to great acclaim at The Allingham Arts Week as well as the Annual Fiddlers’ Gathering in Glenties, County Donegal. This year it will travel to Féile na hInse, in Inishowen, the Niel Gow Festival in Dunkeld, Scotland, Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, Miltown Malbay, County Clare, the Ceol na Coille Summer School in County Donegal as well as the Donegal Fiddlers Summer School, Gleann Cholm Cille.

   Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí would like to acknowledge the tremendous support of the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaion in funding the original project as well as providing a touring grant in 2023 to support the distribution of the collection to the various exhibition venues.

peter tracey.jpg

Peter Tracey

Photo: Dónal Glackin


Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy congratulates the 2023 TG4 Gradam Ceoil Award Winners Mick O'Brien, Fintan Vallely, Mick, Louise and Michelle Mulcahy, Síle Denvir, Méabh Smyth, Maurice Lennon and Frank McArdle. These prestigious awards deservedly recognise the enormous contributions these people have made to Irish traditional music, song and dance.

Mick O'Brien, Fintan Vallely and the Mulcahy family all have strong associations with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy as tutors and performers going back many years.


The winners are excellent ambassadors for the traditional musical heritage and Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy is delighted to share in the public recognition of their achievements. The awards were broadcast live on TG4 on Sunday 23rd April.

Screenshot 2023-03-08 at 20.33.18 small.png
blas 2023.jpg

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. 

itma logo new.jpg

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.

bottom of page