02 Oct 2022

Keep Her Lit festival in Inistioge filled with celebration, commemoration and craic

Keep Her Lit festival in Inistioge filled with celebration, commemoration and craic

Crowds enjoying the Keep Her Lit Festival in Inistioge

Crowds flocked to celebrate in the glorious sunshine in the beautiful village of Inistioge over the weekend for the inaugural Keep Her Lit Festival.

The two-day festival celebrated and commemorated two local pillars of music and culture - Dave Donohue and publican Johnny O’ Donnell.

A commemorative healing nature walk for people who lost a loved one recently opened the Keep Her Lit festival on Saturday morning. Led by forest school practitioner Maura Brennan and Kasia Kaminska. All in attendance enjoyed a beautiful walk along the River Nore that closed with a remembrance mandala in the village square.

The stunning St. Mary’s Church in the village hosted the first of two all-female double headline concerts on Saturday night. A powerful opening set from fiddler and bilingual folk singer, Clare Sands.

The Cork born musician shared stories and songs from Cork, Clare and Donegal. Lisa O’ Neill took to the stage next, accompanied by Mick Geraghty on piano. The pair played to an attentive audience and a packed house. O’ Neill paid tribute to Dave Donohue and Johnny O’ Donnell. O’ Neill also played a beautiful version of Tom Waits song ‘Innocent When You Dream’ in their memory.

Hundreds of market and music lovers turned out on Sunday morning for day two. The Keep Her Lit craft and food market opened with an impressive lineup of local and visiting craft-makers and traders including delicious tacos from Xica, Goatsbridge trout, The Fermentary and Inistioge local Fiona Cullen plus Grennan Mill Graduates The Green Angel, BullDog Design, MadGra Vintage and Geoff Kirk.

On Sunday afternoon, Frankie Lane hosted a wonderful fun filled outdoor concert at the Millenium Garden in association with Counter Attack - a campaign to raise awareness of cardiac disease and heart attacks. Special guests included Brian Kennedy and friends Paul Kelly, son David Lane and Clare Sands.

On Sunday evening, Galway based Brigid Mae Power took to the stage at Cois Abhainn and played a beautiful opening set. Dublin based, Galway born singer Niamh Regan closed the final concert of the weekend and praised festival organisers for the wonderful community spirit surrounding the weekend.

Trad sessions also took over the village square, the Otter Bar & The Woodstock Arms with Kilkenny’s Paddy Cleere, Anthony McAuley, Tommy Lanigan, Aidan Brennan, Ivan McGuire, Dubliner Peter Browne and Belfast brothers Stephen and Brendan Loughran playing sessions from early afternoon until late.

Dave Donohue’s closest friend, musician Tony Davoren traveled from America for the weekend.
The weekend was a beautiful array of talent, music workshops for all ages led by Kilkenny musicians, unforgettable moments and an atmosphere that was filled with community spirit and Grá for Dave Donohue and Johnny O’ Donnell. Stayed tuned for Keep Her Lit 2023 news.

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