Chief O'Neill Music Festival

Chief O'Neill Music Festival Celebrating the Legacy of Captain Francis O'Neill


From Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September 2015 we celebrated the musical legacy of Chief O’Neill in Bantry with a traditional music festival to highlight his achievements as a collector of traditional Irish music.

Join us each year to enjoy O’Neill’s amazing legacy as we bring the best contemporary musicians to West Cork for packed programme of concerts, workshops, sessions and fun here in Bantry.

Please Bookmark our site for more information about the 2016 Festival as it becomes available.

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As the famous ‘Chief’ of the Chicago police force, Captain O’Neill won fame and affection in America, but he never lost his love for the Irish music he had learned as a child growing up in Tralibane near Bantry in West Cork.

Noticing that Chicago, with its large Irish population, was home to brilliant musicians from across Ireland, O’Neill set about building a unique collection of the tunes they played: a songbook for the musicians of the future. Chief O’Neill not only collected traditional tunes from Irish musicians in Chicago, he also published them in an impressive series of books which are still in print today. In the process, O’Neill helped to safeguard the future of traditional Irish music on both sides of the Atlantic.

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In Chicago, and in West Cork, his memory has been kept alive over the last century, and we’re delighted that our festival will bring his important legacy to an even wider audience. Help us to honour his achievements by coming to Bantry for the Chief O’Neill Traditional Music Festival each year.

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Bantry Development & Tourism Association and the organisers of the Chief O'Neill Traditional Music Festival gratefully acknowledge the support of Cork County Council, Failté Ireland and IPB Insurance in staging the Festival


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