Irish Traditional Music

Doolin is sometimes mentioned as the music capital or Ireland or the Irish Traditional Music "Mecca". This reputation is due to the fact that Doolin had a very rich tradition that made it attractive for early collectors of folklore such as Seamus Delargy or later Seamus Ennis and Ciarán Mac Mathúna. They were the first ones to introduce the music from Doolin to a wider audience through radio and TV. They recorded many local musicians, the most famous being the Russell brothers, Micho, Packie and Gussie, who had learned their music from their mother Annie and other local musicians. From then on, the wealth of tradition of Doolin wasn't a secret anymore.

Packie Russell playing the concertina in O'Connor's Pub (1973)

In the 50s and 60s, tourism increased gently, but in the 70s and 80s, the word spread about Doolin and more and more musicians (not to mention listeners) came here to learn and play irish music from all over the world. It all started in O'Connor's Pub, which was the Russell borther's local pub and where Gus and Doll (Kate's grandparents) had a very warm welcome for everyone.
In the 80s and through the 90s, there were endless sessions, day and night, in all three pubs of Doolin (O'Connor's, McGann's and McDermott's), with local musicians, old and young, playing with visitors, some of whom became Ireland's leading traditional musicans (Sharon Shannon, Tommy Peoples, Paddy Keenan, etc.).

There is now music every night in four pubs in Doolin (Fitzpatrick's Bar opened a few years ago at Hotel Doolin !) for most of the year, played by some of the top musicians in the country (Christy Barry, Kevin Griffin, Noel O'Donoghue, Terry Bingham, James Cullinan, Blackie O'Connell, Hugh Healy, Sean Vaughan, The Socks In The Frying Pan, The Howley sisters and many others). Also, there are still informal and spontaneous sessions happening every now and then, all year round, with local musicians and visitors.

Video made by Charles after the Russell Memorial Weekend 2015

There is also the Russell Memorial Weekend happening on the last weekend of February since 1995. It is a music festival in the memory of Micho, Packie and Gussie Russell that includes, concerts, music workshops and, of course, many sessions.
Since 2013, Hotel Doolin also organizes a festival called "The Doolin Folk Festival". It is a weekend full of concerts with some of Ireland's most famous bands and artists but also local talents. The first edition was a great success and the festival now takes place every june.

If you are interested in playing Irish Traditional Music, you should also have a look at Charles' website : "Tunes From Doolin"


Kate's Place B&B is closed and we are not taking bookings.

However, Charles is still welcoming visitors in the family home on an airbnb basis (offering a spare room to travellers in a non professional fashion). For more information please visit The Guest Room's website or send an email to Charles at


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