Peel Castle

Pan Celtic Festival

The 43rd Pan Celtic Festival will cross the Irish border for the first time in its history this year

The annual celebration of all things Celtic moves to the city of Derry in Northern Ireland.

Pan Celtic Logo
It's a great opportunity for those from the Celtic nations to come together and celebrate the occasion through music and song, attracting a sizeable number of competitors from the Isle of Man, with the assistance of the Isle of Man Arts Council.

Many of the competitions and sundry entertainment will be held in the historical Guildhall in Derry, including the keenly contested Pan Celtic International Song Contest which will feature Manx group Shenn Scoill who recently won the local heat Arrane son Mannin (Song for Mann) with their composition Tayrn Mee Thie (Drawing Me Home). Shenn Scoill will also be kept busy during the festival entertaining the crowds with Manx music and song.

Winners Shenn Scoill With Judge David Kilgallon

Photo - Winners Shenn Scoill with judge David Kilgallon

But there'll also be two Manx contenders in the popular traditional song competition as Marlene Hendy, singing Yn Challoo Yiarn (The Iron Pier) endeavours to retain the title she claimed last year. However, she will be joined this year by another Island contender, Lindsay Ridley, who will be singing her new song Skeealyn ny Marrey (Songs of the Sea) in her debut performance at the Pan Celtic Festival.

Marlene Hendy

Photo - Marlene Hendy

After the main Inter-Celtic New Song Competition the Manx contingent will be hosting an evening ceili in association with their Breton and Cornish neighbours.

The proviso of the Pan Celtic Festival is that the Celtic languages be used wherever possible, with a Manx Kiaull as Cooish providing an opportunity for festival goers to learn a little Manx Gaelic through speech and song as part of a series of language workshops.

The Island's native tongue is fairly well understood, particularly in Northern Ireland, with valuable publicity about the Isle of Man's participation in the festival already aired on Raidió Fáilte in both Irish and Manx.

Valerie Caine
© April 2014

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)