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Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy is a week-long summer school in traditional music and set dance held annually at Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. The first and biggest of such events, it commemorates the town's best-known uilleann piper, Willie Clancy, and has been running since just after his death in 1973. The idea was initiated by Clancy himself, and implemented within six months by teacher Muiris Ó Rócháin in collaboration with CCE's timire ceoil Séamus Mac Mathúna and local musicians Martin Talty, Paddy Joe McMahon and Junior Crehan. The school is focused around the teaching of instruments and set dancing in formal classes, but stresses the value of the oral/aural tradition. In its fleadh-style volume of music-making in bars it has become something of a Mecca in the music, its retinue of up to a hundred and fifty teachers, and hundreds of improving and competent musicians, dancers and singers drawing in thousands of listeners. The school addresses the cultural and intellectual side of traditional music by the inclusion of daily workshops on singing and the tradition, afternoon lectures and evening recitals. The 'Breandán Breathnach memorial lecture', given by various authorities in traditional music, opens the school, a music tribute at Clancy's grave, launch of albums and publications in traditional music follow. Scores of impromptu sessions accompany these organised activities, nightly set dance and céilis complement a routine of morning classes given by top players on uilleann pipes, flute, tin whistle, concertina, fiddle, button accordion and set dancing. [Classes in harp, banjo and harmonica have been added in recent years.]

- Adapted from The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, edited by Fintan Vallely, (Cork University Press (1999)

Sponsors and Benefactors

We are especially grateful to the following for financial assistance to the 2023 School:

The Arts Council  • Clare County Council and Fáilte Ireland - Community Supports Scheme: Local Festival and Participative Events • TG4 • Colmcille • Foras Na Gaeilge • RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta • Diageo Ireland • Local Communities •


Táimíd fíorbhuíoch do:

Clare County Library • Limerick & Clare Education and Training Board • Clare FM • Miltown Malbay Community Centre •

• National School, St Joseph's GAA Club and owners of private premises in Miltown Malbay • Armada Hotel • Bellbridge Hotel •

Spanish Point Golf Club • St Joseph's Secondary School, Spanish Point • Church of Ireland, Spanish Point • KIB GAA Club, National School and Quilty Tavern in Quilty • Sports Centre, Community Centre, National School, Credit Union House and owners of private premises in Mullagh •


As ucht na cabhrach a fuaireamar uathu i slite difriúla.


The Arts Council  • Na Píobairí Uilleann • Clare County Council • The Irish Traditional Music Archive •

RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta • TG4 • Foras Na Gaeilge • Colmcille • Blas International Summer School Of Irish Traditional Music and Dance • Cruit Éireann / Harp Ireland

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Foras na Gaeilge

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Clare County Council

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