Féile Frank Mc Gann was established to honour the memory of one of Ireland’s best loved traditional Irish musicians, Frank Mc Gann. Frank, a bodhran player born in Lisalway, Co. Roscommon in 1923 and who sadly passed away in 2002 was renowned throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.Described by Siobhan Peoples as “the Florence Nightingale of musicians”, Frank was a firm favourite because of his fatherly and caring approach towards musicians. He was particularly committed to nurturing the development of young performers. Many of the country’s musicians both North and South have expressed their desire to participate in the festival to honour the memory of Frank Mc Gann.
Born into a family steeped traditional music, his family played at weddings and functions throughout the county. Through his mother’s fiddle playing he was heavily influenced by Michael Coleman, the legendary Sligo fiddle player, and the many musicians who regularly visited the family home, such as the great travelling piper Johnny Doran.
When Frank went to Dublin in the mid 1940′s, the city where he met his future wife Bernie and put down his roots, he immersed himself in all aspects of our native culture especially music, dancing and the GAA. After the folk and ballad music boom in the 1960′s, traditional music once again became more popular in the pus and clubs of Dublin.
Frank became more involved in setting up and running music sessions in well known pubs such as The Man of Aran and O’Sheas Merchant where traditional music remains vibrant. Right up to the time of his final illness Frank regularly played his beloved Bodhran all over the city and surrounds. He also was a regular visitor to many places around the country, including his native county, Roscommon where good music could always be heard. Frank took to the Fleadh and festival scene like a duck to water. Wherever Frank Mc Gann was to be found you could be sure that the best of craic, music and singing was taking place.
Frank leaves behind a legacy of enormous popularity and respect among the well known (and not so well known) musicians of Ireland. He was one of life’s characters who lived a hard working and Christian life.
He had two passions in life, his family and his music. In the final days of his wonderful life he had both close to him and this helped him face the dark days that lay ahead.
Following a meeting of the members and directors of Féile Frank McGann Limited earlier this year, a decision was taken that the Féile Frank McGann Festival would not be continued.
A Festival will take place in Strokestown on the weekend of 10th to 12th October 2014 and this festival is run by Féile Tradisiunta Strokestown. This new festival is being organised by the local organising committee that was instrumental in running the 11 very successful Féile Frank McGann festivals and they will bring their expertise and experience to bear in running what will be a festival of the highest quality and standards.
If you would like to learn more about this new festival please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 086-8546433
Feile Frank McGann would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported the festival over the last 11 years and we wish Féile Tradisiunta Strokestown the very best in their endeavours.
Féile Frank McGann Limited is undergoing a period of review and restructuring and we hope to make a further announcement about the next phase of the company established to honour the memory of Frank McGann during the course of 2015.
As Frankie Gavin said, when learning that Frank had passed away “I loved Frank……he was just mighty and I hope we can all take a leaf from his book of great cheer.” That sums it up.