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South Of The Border
Fri 14th February - Sun 16th February 2020

Remembering the songs of Jimmy Kennedy & stories of Packie Manus Byrne


Jimmy Kennedy - South of the Border Festival, ArdaraThe “South of the Border” Festival incorporates the talents of Jimmy Kennedy, the famous composer of songs like “South of the Border” and “Red Sails in the Sunset”, and also we remember and acknowledge the talents of local hero Packie Manus Byrne who was a composer, musician, entertainer and man of many parts and whose birthday takes place in February.

This year we initiate the theme “The Bard of Ardara”. With this in mind, we introduce two of the most outstanding story tellers of their time and former winners of the “Bard of Armagh” Declan Forde and Patsy O Hagan and we welcome Patsy Cavanagh the composer of that famous Donegal song ‘This is my Homeland’.


2020 Programme


Friday 14th February


Bard of Ardara

Corner House Bar at 9.00pm

Frank GalliganAn evening of storytelling, music and craic, the “Bard of Ardara” is presented by Frank Galligan.
Introducing: Patsy O’Hagan, the Bard of Armagh and one of the funniest men around, along with Declan Forde, another Bard of Armagh who presents a unique storytelling pitch. Both in the company of Paddy, John Joe and Jimmy.

Patsy O’Hagan
Patsy O’Hagan lives on the edge of Lough Neagh, just a stone’s throw from the old Celtic cross. Three times winner of the “Bard of Armagh”, he started writing about 20 years ago “to try and let people see the humour and fun in everyday life”. Asked if he would still write even if he never won a competition, he says: “Yes! I would! I don’t write to win competitions. I write to please myself—and my audience. My audience is most important”. Frank Galligan, who was Chairman of the Judges for almost 20 years in Armagh, says of Patsy: “He could have been a silent movie actor…people laugh before he opens his mouth. He’s got a wonderful glint in his eye and can suss an audience like nobody else. A guest on many of my radio programmes over the years, he’s a dear friend…who keeps me laughing!”

Declan Forde
Declan Forde writes, illustrates and has performed his original stories, songs and poems at festivals all over Ireland including the South of the Border Festival in Ardara, Charles Macklin School in Donegal, the Fiddlers Green Festival in Rostrevor, the Carlton Summer School in Clogher, the Fiddlestone Festival in Fermanagh, the Ben Kiely Weekend in Tyrone, the Teachers Club, Dublin and the Bard of Armagh, where he was a prizewinner. He is a regular and very popular artist at the Milwaukee Irish Festival – The World’s Largest Celebration of Celtic Music & Culture.


Storytelling & Entertainment

Beehive Bar at 10.30pm


Frank Galligan will acknowledge the massive contribution of Packie Manus Byrne to storytelling and entertainment in Ireland, with an all-time great traditional music session featuring the best musicians around, joined by Declan Forde and Patsy O’Hagan for more fun and stories.



Saturday 15th February


The Jimmy Kennedy Concert

With MC Frank Galligan

Nesbitt Arms Hotel at 8.00pm


Jimmy KennedyThe silken skills of Neilly Gildea on Saxophone joined by Paul Coughlan and friends for a concert of swingtime music from the Tin Pan Alley era. Also Eabha Gallagher will perform the songs of Jimmy Kennedy, a great opportunity to hear this wonderful talent. Patsy Cavanagh, composer of “This is my Homeland” will take to the stage and will be joined by Patsy O’HaganDeclan Forde and Bri Carr.

This was the outstanding concert of 2019 and promises to be bigger and better this year. A Concert not to be missed.


Packie Manus Byrne Evening

with MC Frank Galligan

The Beehive Bar at 10.30pm


Packie Manus ByrneJoin friends and fellow musicians to pay due respect and remember the wonderful Packie Manus Byrne.



Sunday 16th February


The Bri Carr Hosts a “Song and Story Concert”

Nesbitt Arms Hotel at 3.30pm

One of the most popular musicians in Donegal, Bri Carr, hosts the Ardara “Song and Story Concert” in an unmissable family friendly afternoon, with music and stories by Bri Carr and special guests.

Bri will introduce new songs ‘Dún na nGall’, ‘H.o.m.e’, ‘The Tigers of Donegal’ and more from her follow-up album, as well as ‘Yesterday’ (last year’s South of the Border Songwriting Contest winner) and ‘Miracle You Are’ (Grand Finalist in the UK Songwriting Song contest).

The concert will also feature songs and stories from the area, with help from The Wild Atlantic Wains, Gortnacart National school , Patsy Kavanagh, Wild Atlantic Women and local artists.


For more details contact Stephen on 087-2424590


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