Showcase Finalists 2019

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Showcase Finalists 2019


Tony was born and reared in Aughagower, near Westport, Co. Mayo, he started song writing in the late80’s.  He has gained a considerable reputation as a songwriter and his songs have been played on RTE radio 1, Rte Lyric fm, RnaG, Mid West Radio and BBC Radio. He has a compassionate eye for human frailty and his songs have a pungently poetic sense of place we are told from BBC Music Magazine.


John Lindsay is a singer songwriter from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland who plays as a solo artist and with a band with as many as 8 musicians. John has two full albums of original songs and often plays shows and events with his original music interspersed with covers of a similar genre such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

John has a growing fan base for his concerts and online, with Spotify showing thousands of listeners per month from across the world.  John Lindsay played a concert at the Pan arts, Belfast Nashville songwriter festival in 2017 and then launched his latest album ‘Two’ at the March 2018 festival.   John is used to being on stage and playing at festivals, he and a full band played at the Holywood Culture Night Festival in both 2016 and 2017. He also attended 2018 Stendhal Festival and took the opportunity to play the Sign Up stage.  John also spent time in Nashville recording and playing original music showcase events and singer songwriter invited musician events. He also regularly tours with his albums and repertoire of original songs playing Spain, England, Scotland and Ireland.  He travels regularly to Dublin where he is sought after for singer songwriter events where he is often joined on stage to perform his songs with other Dublin Based musicians.


Sarah and Ciara first met singing at the open music sessions in Moran’s pub in Grange. They realised that their voices worked well together and decided to rehearse songs for various different music sessions. When the Ballyshannon folk festival competition was advertised they decided to enter as they felt that their harmonies and song writing abilities were strong enough on a competitive level. Their love for music and harmonies shines through when they perform and are a pleasure to watch and listen to.


Fineinn is a Folk/Indie singer from Foxford, Co. Mayo. He has been writing his original music for the past 3 years and has plans to begin recording them in the very near future to create his first EP. He has won many titles in Irish Dancing including Connaught and All Ireland Championships and has placed top 10 in the World at the World Irish Dancing Championships. Finéinn’s instruments include the Fiddle, Piano, Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica and Bodhrán and has won an All Ireland Title on the Bodhrán at the Derry Fleadh in 2013. His aim is to allow his original music to take over his career and carry him on a successful musical journey throughout life.


Brought up on the Isle of Skye, Séamus was introduced to Scottish Traditional Music through the many sessions around the Gàidhealtachd. He furthered his music at Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd under the tuition of Iain MacFadyen (pipes) and Iain MacFarlane (fiddle). Now Séamus studies Music, Irish and Mandarin at Queens University Belfast.

Séamus was a finalist in the BBC Radio Young Traditional Musician of the Year award and has performed at the Hebridean Celtic Festival, Piping Live, Electric Picnic, Celtic Connections and Festival Interceltique de Lorient.


Maria grew up in Bristol, West of Ireland descent; she has been performing music for the past 20 years- sharing stages with Damien Rice and Glen Hansard.  In 2011, she set up KYO Records to specifically promote international musical collaboration and went on to work with musicians all over the world.


Niamh O’Donnell, her brother Cian O’Donnell, Conor Maheady and Sean Murphy are part of a four piece traditional/ folk group, In Tune, based in North Mayo. They first played as a group together four years ago when taking part in a Siansa Gael Linn group. They enjoy performing a wide repertoire, instruments include fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, flute, whilst, low whistle, accordion, bodhrán.


Eoghan is a 30 something year old Singer/Songwriter from Limerick, living in Galway.  Having spent his late teens/early twenties playing solo, as the front man of a metal band and the singer in a rock n’ roll cover band on the Limerick music scene, with time the bands went their separate ways.  After a 10 year hiatus, Eoghan returned to gigging with new material, a new style and a hunger to perform for audiences again.

After performing a number of times in the last 10 months and recording new material, he is poised to release his EP on Spotify in February.



Brendan is a songwriter from Killala, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Brendan has been performing and writing for the past 20 years, on an amateur basis, and is an exciting and dynamic performer with a big heart and a bigger voice. He has recently taken the decision to move in to the professional sphere and is gathering followers wherever he performs.   Brendan has recently delved in to the world of theatre and is currently touring his new original Folk & Ballad Musical – TAKE ME HOME COLLEEN – which is a reflection on Ireland’s difficult past, from 1845 to 1850 when a Potato blight struck Ireland.  Brendan delivers a haunting and heart wrenching catalogue of 12 songs in TAKE ME HOME COLLEEN which are complemented by a narrated chapter and a cinematic backdrop. The show has played in both Ireland and America in 2019 and there are plans to bring it to a wider Irish and European audience in 2020.



Japanese and Ireland – This is Jairish

In 2017, two lads working in Ireland that played some instruments happened to meet and think they would start a duo band to make whatever sounds they wanted to by playing together. Another member later joined the band and now they play as a trio with more layers in their music.

As it happens, the band has blended some traditional Irish sound in their modern alternative music, which they believe perfectly fits together. Wondering what to define the genre of their music, they finally have named it `R&T (Rock & Traditional)’.