The Cup of Tae Festival | Welcome to Ardara, Co. Donegal

The Cup of Tae Festival
Fri 4th May - Mon 7th May 2018

The “Cup of Tae” Festival

Painting by Stephen Bennett ©

17th Féile Ceoil Tradisiúnta
Friday 4th May – Monday 7th May 2018


John “The Tae” Gallagher

The Death of a great Legend
A great sorrow fell on the picturesque Village of Ardara on Tuesday 24th January, 2012, when the news spread of the death of John “the tae” Gallagher. Without doubt a legend had died and somehow that sense prevailed in Ardara for days afterwards.
Life and music will go on but his music will never be surpassed. From an era of poor communication, John was known worldwide for his wonderful playing and help to budding Musicians. Gone but not forgotten, the memory of John will live on through the “Cup of Tae” Festival, for which he was responsible, and to whom it owes its success.
Go ndeanaí Dia trocaire ar a anam.


Friday 4th May, 2018

7.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel

By Stephen Bennett ©

Registration for Summer School of Music

Beginners School of Music in Fidil, Feadóg Mór, Giotáir, Feadóg Stáin, Bosca Ceoil, Moderate & Advanced only in Fidil, Feadóg Mór, Feadóg Stáin.
The world famous Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh is our Masterclass Fiddle Tutor this year.
Fee: Adult €50.00
Children: €25.00
Family Rates Available.


All Star Opening Concert

in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel
Special Event to honour one of Donegal’s most famous and popular Musicians

Fiddle Player Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh

Mairead is one of the most famous musicians in Ireland and of course a key member of the world famous Group Altan.
Tickets Limited – Contact Committee
Doors open 8.00 p.m. (Performance starts 8.30 p.m.)

Traditional Music free in all Pubs every night (see Posters).



Saturday 5th May, 2018

By Stephen Bennett ©

Final Registration

9.00 a.m. – 10.00 a.m.
Moderate Fiddle and beginners in Flute, Fiddle, Tin Whistle & Accordian in St. Mary’s School.
Master Fiddle Class with Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh in St Mary’s School

Also Ciaráin Ó Maonaigh will give Fiddle Classes
Class Times: 10.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
and 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.
Ireland’s Top Teachers in Attendance.


Heritage Centre at 1.00 p.m.

This is a unique event as a special group of young musicians from Co. Down put on a performance.
They will be joined by Special Guests and local Fiddle Maker & top Musician Michael O’Rourke.
A free Event – Not to be missed.


Open Air Recitals – 3.00 p.m.

Open Air Musical Recitals with Pipe Band and traditional musicians.


Visiting Guests

Amongst the many guests this year are a group of musicians from France and also a group of traditional players from New York plan to attend.
We welcome members of CCE County Cavan for the weekend.


Heritage Centre at 8.00 pm

James Keeney invites all guests and musicians to an informal session of music and storytelling.


Beehive Bar at 9.00 p.m.

An evening with CCE from Ards in Co. Down
An evening of Sessions and Stories with many of the visiting musicians joining in this very special event.
Free Irish Music in all Pubs in Town (see Posters)



Sunday 6th May, 2018

Music Classes/Workshop continue

10.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m


Music Classes/Workshop complete

2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.


Musical Recital

Heritage Centre1.00 p.m. 
by traditional Musicians from Co Down


Open Air Recital on the Diamond

3.00 p.m.
Open Air Musical Recital which will include the Students and Teachers from the Schools and Workshops will display the learning that took place with a Session on the Diamond.


Finale Concert

in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel at 8.00 p.m.
The John “the tae” Concert is always a special event.
This year a list of top Musicians will perform at this Concert in honour of the late great John “the tae”.
A show not to be missed. Please come early. Seating limited.



Monday 7th May, 2018

Music Sessions will take place in various Pubs.


The “Cup of Tae” is the name of an Irish Reel. Our Festival is in honour of a renowned player John “the tae” Gallagher.
Generations of his family before him made ‘taes’ on Fair Days and other days of local importance – hence the name of the Festival.
Free Irish Music Sessions in all Pubs in Town (see Posters)

Beidh Fáilte Roimh Uilig

View or download our brochure:

Download (PDF)


For More Information Contact:

Stephen (087) 2424590
John 074 (95) 41769
Imelda (086) 3895001

For details on accomodation see our Accommodation Page.

Thanks for the support from:
Heritage Centre
Information Centre





Loading Map....