Traditional Music in Ennis

All Stories


Flutes and fiddles everywhere, if it’s music you want, you should go to Clare

Singer/Songwriter Christy Moore


Every day is a Fleadh day in Ennis!  As the county capital of Ireland’s home of Traditional Irish Folk Music, Ennis, County Clare has a rightful claim as Ireland’s TradTown.

Visitors will never be far from a tune in Ennis, and can expect to hear traditional music of the very highest quality, any and every day of the year.

Ennis Trad Trail, a programmed trail of free music sessions in bars across Ennis, runs year round and feauring top musicians.

Traditional Irish music can also be heard at concerts in glór theatre, Cois na hAbhna, or many of the other  town venues.

But, you don’t need to move indoors to hear good music, buskers located in the sheltering bow-ways, winding laneways or along the narrow streets of Ennis, all add to the wonderful atmosphere of this Gaelic Medieval town.



As well as our pool of exceptional home grown talent, Ennis has long been noted as a town that welcomes musicians, some arrive for a short term stay to hone their craft with the masters, others dally a little longer, while some forget to go home! Together, they ensure that the traditional music scene in Ennis remains vibrant, fresh and energised and they provide a feast of music for visitors to Ennis.

Young children and teenagers who competed at the recent Fleadhanna held in Ennis, who also busked and filled the streets with joyous sounds, to those who perform annually at ‘Fleadh Nua’ held in Ennis in th emonth of May, to those who participate in workshops and concerts as part of Ennis Tradfest held in November, all attest to the prevailing love for learning and performing Irish music and song.

The people of Ennis are very proud of the role they play in ensuring that traditional Irish songs and music survive and flourish.

The reasons why traditional  Irish music and song have remainded so strong in Ennis are many and varied.  But, rest assured that on any given night, regardless of season or weather pockets of Ennis will reverberate with the rhythm of great Irish trad and all are welcome.

Ennis Trad Trail

The Ennis Trad Trail is a nightly programme of the finest Traditional Irish Music featuring the greatest local and guest musicians in some of the best Trad venues in Ennis.

Here’s the circuit, at a glance:

Knox’s Pub and Storehouse Restaurant

Join a session at this, the oldest pub in Ennis (opened in 1864).
Trad during July and August: Mon to Fri from 7.30 pm

Preacher’s Pub (Temple Gate Hotel)

A traditional, inviting, friendly and intimate pub.
Trad during July and August: Tues 8pm, Sun 6pm

Poet’s Corner (Old Ground Hotel)

Warm and cosy – share a drink, a story and some music.
Frid Trad 10pm / Sat Trad 10pm / Sun Trad 9.30pm
Regular trad sessions during summer season: Tues, Wed and Thurs 8.30pm

James O’Keefe’s

A family-run pub first established in the late 1600’s, you won’t find a more authentic experience than this.
Late night trad session every Sat 11pm

Hotel Woodstock Bar & Restaurant

Relax in style and soak up the atmosphere.
Trad during July and August: Fri and Sat

Borus Porterhouse (Treacy’s West County Conference and Leisure Hotel)

A great night out with some first class bar food and comfortable surrounds.
Trad during July and August every Tues 9pm

Cruises Bar & Restaurant

Old world charm, great Irish hospitality – the craic is mighty!
Mon Trad 8pm
Tuesday Irish Night feat musicians and singers 8.30pm
Wed / Thurs / Fri / Sat / Sun Trad 8.30pm

Brogan’s Bar & Restaurant

Steeped in local history, music has been at the core of this quality, traditional pub for more than 35 years.
Mon / Tues / Wed / Thurs / Sun Trad 8pm

The Diamond Bar

A cracking little pub with all the right ingredients.
Tues / Thurs Trad 8pm
Frid Fireside Sessions 9.30pm

Dan O’Connell’s

A lively spot with a great reputation for the best live acts and trad sessions.
Mon Trad 6pm
Wed Trad 9.30pm
Fri Piping Heaven/Piping Hell 4.30pm

Cois na hAbhna

Experience all aspects of traditional entertainment – from music to step dancing, then join in, with basic tuition given in the simpler céili dances.
Sessions held during the summer months, Wed and Frid nights.

Did you know?

It is alleged that the first known modern Irish music pub session took place in 1947 in London’s Camden Town at a bar called the Devonshire Arms. However, some ethnomusicologists believe that Irish immigrants in the United States may have held sessions before this. Sessions were later introduced to Ireland and by the 1960s, pubs like O’Donoghues in Dublin were holding their own pub sessions.

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