Celtic Thunder’s Colm Keegan brings the complete Irish experience to North America


Award winning singer-songwriter Colm Keegan of Celtic Thunder renown will launch his new series, “The History of Ireland through Music,” in North America in February and March of 2019.   This program includes the following:

1 Hour Class – Introduction to the Irish Language

1.5 Hour Presentation – The History of Ireland through music – ‘Connecting the Celts’

Anyone with a serious interest in Irish and Celtic history, culture, and music will find this program enjoyable and rewarding.  Using a TED-Talk model, Mr. Keegan has created an evening of total Irish immersion.

Colm Keegan

THE CLASS:  Introduction to the Irish Language

While the vast majority of people in Ireland speak English as their first language, there are places in Ireland where the Irish Language is spoken daily. As a nation, Ireland has made a major commitment to preserving the language, and visitors to Ireland will see the language everywhere they go.  This class will introduce attendees to the Irish Language, including its relationship to other languages and historical influences on it.  Attendees can expect to leave the class with a basic understanding of the syntax and pronunciation of the language and some basic phrases and greetings.

THE PRESENTATION:   History of Ireland Through Music – “Connecting the Celts”

Music is an important part of Celtic culture, and many popular songs were written about or in response to historical events.  Mr. Keegan has worked closely with experts on Irish and Celtic history to create an educational program that traces major elements of  Irish history beginning with the 16th Century plantations and ending with the 1798 Rebellion and the events leading up to the 1801 Act of Union, and he will perform some of the songs that reflect that history.  This time period includes important events throughout Ireland and Scotland that have sculpted the countries to this very day.  He will give historical context to all of the songs he performs, and he will give his audience new insight into the stories and references in the songs.

Topics included in the presentation:

  • The 16th Century Laois/Offaly, Munster & Ulster Plantations;
  • The Battle of the Boyne between James III and William of Orange;
  • The origin of the Jacobites in Scotland and the subsequent Jacobite rising ending in the Battle of Culloden with Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • The Irish Support for the Jacobite movement
  • The Irish Confederates War
  • 1798 Rebellion, focusing on Theobald Wolfe Tone
  • 1803 Rebellion, focusing on Robert Emmet
  • Foundation of the Act of Union

Some of the songs in the program will include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Mo Ghile Mear
  • Skye Boat Song
  • Loch Lomond
  • Oh Breathe Not His Name
  • Boolavogue
  • The Green Flag Around Me
  • Oró Se do Bheatha ‘Bhaile

SOUNDCHECK:   Soundcheck Party

Attendees have the option of adding admission to the soundcheck, where they will see Colm complete the soundcheck for the main presentation and have the opportunity to ask questions.  The soundcheck will include 15 minutes of Music followed by a 15 minute  Question and Answer session with Colm.

Click here for more about Colm Keegan

Click here for more about Celtic Thunder

Categorized as Blog

By Patrick Kehoe

Pat Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily. His favourite Irish music bands are the Dubliners and Planxty.