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A joint initiative, involving Blas International Summer School of Irish Traditional Music and Dance and Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, was launched on the 30th November 2016 at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance by Nicholas Carolan, Director Emeritus of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.


The Blas Summer School (24th June to 5th July 2024), located in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University  of Limerick, is linking up with Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy to offer students an  opportunity to extend their immersion in traditional music studies by enrolling in the Dúchas an Cheoil / Scope of Irish Traditional Music course at the Willie Clancy School. This collaboration will offer students an accredited programme based at the University of Limerick and the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay.


This initiative will enable students to earn University accreditation worth 3 undergraduate credits (6 ECTS credits). Students wishing to pursue accreditation will be required to complete both the second week of Blas and the Scope of Irish Traditional Music Course at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy.


For more information on the Blas-UL and Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy accredited programme and application forms, please visit


Over the past forty years the Willie Clancy Summer School has attracted thousands of students and followers of Irish traditional music from all over the world.  On average,  40% of the annual student attendance comes from overseas, with representation from over 30 countries, including the USA, Australia, Japan, Western Europe, Canada, Brazil, the UK and Russia. Dúchas an Cheoil / The Scope of Irish Traditional Music course has been part of  Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy since 1986 and is directed by tutor-coordinators Paddy Glackin and Cathal Goan. This six-day course introduces students to the essentials of Irish traditional music, song and dance, and fosters an awareness of the social, cultural and historical context in which the largest part of this musical tradition was created. The primary focus is on the listening experience and the course is conducted in a relaxed atmosphere where students interact with masters of the traditional arts. Many leading traditional singers, dancers and musicians have been guest performers at Dúchas an Cheoil over the years, and the student cohort reflects the international character of Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy.


More details on the  SCOPE OF IRISH MUSIC course are on the Workshops page. 

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This international school of Irish traditional music and dance attracts students from all over the world who are typically musicians, singers and dancers,  already familiar with the Irish traditions, who want to extend their technique, repertoire and knowledge therein. Blas acts as an incubator, and forms a space in which to improve musicianship, song, or dance technique, and to learn more about the stylistic, social and historic content of these traditions in a familiar educational campus setting. It is an internationally accredited school and takes place for two weeks from the last week of June at the UL campus.

Dúchas an Cheoil/The Scope of Irish Traditional Music Tutors.

Paddy Glackin, a native of Dublin, is a noted fiddle player and exponent of the Donegal style of fiddle music, a tradition inherited from his Donegal father. He  has released a number of  solo albums, collaborated  on several albums with leading traditional musicians, and been involved in various seminal groups such as the Bothy Band, Ceoltóirí Laighean, LAPD, and, more recently, Usher’s Island. From 1980 to 1985 he served as Traditional Music Officer with the Arts Council. His professional career was with RTÉ Radio where he worked as a producer, presenter and editor. He is currently on the Board of the Arts Council of  Ireland.


Cathal Goan, a native of Belfast, has a particular interest in the Irish language song tradition. He began his professional career with RTÉ, the national radio and television broadcaster, and was the first Director of the newly established Telefís na Gaeilge (TG4)  and later Director-General of RTÉ. In 2011 he was appointed Adjunct-Professor in the School of Irish Language, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics at University College Dublin. He served  as chairman of the Irish Traditional Music Archive and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Ulster in recognition of his services to the Irish language and to broadcasting in Ireland.

cathal goan paddy glackin wcss 2016 web.

Cathal Goan and Paddy Glackin

Photo: Tony Kearns

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