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Mayo and Dublin’s Musical Ambassadors To Perform At EU Presidency Event

Tuesday 12th March will see some of Ireland’s finest young traditional musicians take centre stage as guest artists for the Department of Education and Skills’ Conference on Qualifications organised as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency. Nominated by Music Generation Mayo, young harpist Alannah Thornburgh will be joined by Dublin-based traditional group The Bonny Men nominated by Na Píobairí Uilleann to perform to an audience of international delegates at the event in Dublin Castle.
Alannah Thornburgh, a Leaving Certificate student at Scoil Muire agus Padraig, Swinford, Co. Mayo, started playing music at the age of five, starting off on the tin whistle and fiddle, quickly progressing on to the piano and finally the harp at the age of eleven. She has won numerous All-Ireland medals for harp, piano and fiddle and is a member of the Tiarna Mhaigh Eo Céili Band which won the prestigious Under-18 Céili Band competition at the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2011. Alannah is currently a music teacher with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann Michael Davitt and she teaches and performs regularly at various musical events around Ireland.
Since forming in January 2011, The Bonny Men have emerged as the most talked about, and exciting young band to arise from the trad/folk scene in Ireland. Their debut album, self-titled The Bonny Men, was recorded live over four days and captures the raw energy and life with which these young musicians play music. Their unique sound features two sets of siblings. Barry Lyons takes on the role of guitar, while on bodhrán is his brother Conor, twice winner of the World Bodhrán Championships. On uilleann pipes is Oireachtas champion Maitiú Ó Casaide and his younger sister Natalie plays the piano. All-Ireland winner Moss Landman is on flute, Turlough Chambers is on fiddle and Adam Whelan is on bouzouki. Eleven-time All-Ireland champion Íde Nic Mhathúna is the lead vocalist in the band.
“Music Generation is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Department of Education and Skills, Local Music Education Partnerships, the esteemed Na Píobairí Uilleann and many young musicians through the country on this ambitious performance programme to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.” said Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation. “We are very proud of our young musicians who are proving fine ambassadors on this international platform”.
This performance is the fourth in a series of exciting musical celebrations that have been organised by the Department of Education and Skills and Music Generation to mark Ireland’s EU Presidency and will feature some of Ireland’s finest young musicians from throughout the country over the coming months.
For further information please contact Music Generation, c/o Music Network, The Coach House, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. 01 6719945 / /
Notes to editors:
Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and funded by U2 and The Ireland Funds, together with a range of local partners. Music Generation helps children and young people to access music education in their local area. Music Generation is currently established in Carlow, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo and Wicklow and works with Music Education Partnerships in each of these areas. Music Generation also works closely with the Department of Education and Skills who have committed to co-fund the programme with local Music Education Partnerships from July 2014. Visit for further information.
Na Píobairí Uilleann is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of the Irish Uilleann Pipes and its music. Its headquarters are located in Henrietta Street, Dublin, in a restored Georgian building with facilities for many activities. Membership of the organisation is now spread throughout Ireland, England, Scotland, Continental Europe, North America and Australia. Music Generation Laois in association with Na Píobairí Uilleann runs weekly Uilleann Pipe classes in Portlaoise College. For further information on this programme visit