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|The Russell Memorial Weekend 2008|
To mark the 14th festival commemorating the great traditional legacy of the Russell family from Doolin, the Russell Memorial Committee organised a weekend of music and entertainment from Friday 22nd to Sunday 23rd of February 2008 in Doolin.
Friday Night Concert - Tribute to Jack Garrihy
The festival opened on Friday 22nd with a concert at 8-00pm in the Russell Cultural Centre featuring young local musicians and singers including Peadar O’Reilly's group, Katrina Rouine's group, Edel Fox's group, Liz Shannon's dance group, Wayne Danagher, the Howley sisters, Ian & Phillip Queally, Gráinne Curtin, and Joe Leyden and grandchildren.
During the concert tributes were paid to the late Jack Garrihy of Doolin, a founder member of the weekend festival and who had been actively involved with the festival until his death in 2007. During the evening’s entertainment a photo of Jack was unveiled at the Centre by Clare County Councillor Richard Nagle, and Aoibhean, Ailbe and Daoireann Garrihy performed songs from their grandfather’s repertoire in memory of his fine gift as a sean nós singer.
The Russell Concert on Saturday Feb 23rd from 2pm to 5-30pm showcased an impressive line up of local musicians, singers, and dancers.
With Master of Ceremonies, Pat Costelloe Clare FM, on hand to cajole and entertain with his humour things went very smoothly on stage for Frank Custy's Group, Michael "Blackie" O'Connell, Karol Lynch, Cyril O'Donoghue, Sean McGrath, Ollie O'Connell. The Céilí Bandits - Eoin O'Neill, Quentin Cooper & Friends. Kevin Griffin, Terry Bingham, Michael Nagle, Orla McGovern, Buddy Flanagan, Yvonne Casey, Noel O'Donoghue, Sean Vaughan, Ian Lambe, Hugh Healy, Eddie Maloney, Bobby Gardiner, Christy Barry, Michael Kelleher, Colin Nee, Four Courts - Chris Droney, Peter Griffin, Seamus Hynes and Michael Hynes. James and Carol Cullinan, Tony Linnane and Angela Crotty. The Crowe Family with Johnny Conlon and Liam Mulcahy. Ted Beatty, Gussie McMahon and Paddy Neylon (Dancers). Ted McCormack, Mary Howard, Geraldine and Shay MacGowan, Adrian O'Connor (Singers)
Russell Remembrance Mass
On Sunday the 22nd Feb at 1pm the Anniversary Remembrance Mass for the Russells was celebrated in Doolin Church to the accompaniment of hymns and songs from the Doolin church choir. It was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Russell grave, with songs of farewell and tunes in memory of the dead.
Russell Music events for 2008 continued to focus on the music, song, and instrumentation heritage of the Russells with two music recitals. Ronan O'Flaherty and Edel Fox gave a Concertina Recital on Saturday 23rd Feb at 11am in Lynch's Lounge McDermott's Pub . Adm Free.
On Sunday 24th Feb at 11am Christy Barry and Colin Nee gave a tin whistle and flute recital in O'Connor's Kitchen, O'Connors Pub, Adm Free.
After the Rusell Concert on Saturday 23rd Feb as usual there was an informal traditional singing recital at 6pm in the O'Gorman Room, Russell Cultural Centre, Adm Free
Set dancing was held at 3pm on Sunday 22nd at the Russell Cultural Centre, music by Peter Griffin and the Four Courts Céilí Band.
Events for the weekend also included the Monday night (Feb 24th) "festival wrap-up" sessions and there were many informal live music sessions throughout the weekend in Doolin’s pubs and hotels.