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07 Aug 2022

It's back! Nenagh Castlefest keeps them singing and dancing in the rain

It's back! Nenagh Castlefest keeps them singing and dancing in the rain

Enjoying the music at this year's Nenagh Castlefest

Last weekend’s Nenagh Castlefest and the iconic Glastonbury festival had one thing in common this year - they both returned following a hiatus due to Covid-19.

But there the comparison ended as the rain normally associated with Worthy Farm fell instead on the town’s castle field.

But nobody minded. The crowds turned up on a rain-soaked Saturday more akin to a dreary wet winter’s day instead of an Irish summer to dance and sing along to some of the top acts in Irish trad and country music, among them Louise Morrissey, the undisputed Tipperary Queen of Country Music, backed by an all-star band put together by Peter Maher.

Joining her were members of the Nathan Carter band and local favourites The Conquerors, who also backed rising star Olivia Douglas from Ferbane.

Sunday saw better weather as the inimitable Keith and Lorraine brought their brand of showband to the festival, getting the crowd moving - one couple never left the dancefloor in the middle of the field, lost in their own “Strictly” world.

Earlier, Aishling Rafferty from Knockshegowna wooed her fans and got many new admirers.

Cllr Hughie McGrath, festival chair, thanked all those who turned up to both play and support the event.

“People rally appreciated it going ahead again this year. They hung in despite the rain and just went into the marquee when it did,” he said. “Next year, we’ll get a bigger marquee.”

He said the free festival set out to do what he had tried to achieve - lots of local community involvement with people enjoying the music and stalls.

The musicians hung around long after they had performed, with Hughie revealing that Brendan Shine even left his accordion at the stage and waited until the final act on Sunday, The Conquerors, finished their set.

Hughie said the musicians were delighted with the calibre of the All-Star band put together by Peter Maher, though many wondered how he hadn’t found a spot for Hughie himself!

He paid tribute to his committee, who he said, “just step up to it”, and thanked Nenagh MDC, councillors and sponsors for helping out.

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