With a combined age of over 340, Paddy Reilly, Miceal Clarke, Thomas and Martin Darby, Paddy Reilly and Miceal Clarke, will entertain at the Johnstons Festival.

Johnstons Folk Music Festival making a return to Slane

The Slane-based Johnstons Folk Music Festival resumes this summer, over the weekend of 21st to 23rd May, the tenth festival organised by the committee.

It kicks off at 8pm on Saturday night 21st May with a concert in St Patrick's Church of Ireland with Spiorad, an ensemble of local singers , followed by ballad singer Niamh Parsons, accompanied on guitar by Graham Dunne. This duo has been performing to major acclaim at all the major folk festivals, not only in Ireland, but across Europe and the US.

A ballad session follows in the Village Inn from 10pm, featuring the Slane and District Men's Shed Music Group.

On Sunday at 3pm in the Village Gardens, the Navan Silver Band will perform a musical recital open to all. That evening, at 8pm in Rathkenny Hall, 340 years of jigs and reels will be celebrated by the Darby brothers, Thomas and Martin, Paddy Reilly and Micheal Clarke, who have been playing music since their teenage years, and who will be joined on stage by the Chapel Street Band.

On Monday, the festival moves to Slane Castle, where the story of the Johnstons Folk Group will be recorded and entered into the Irish Music Archive for the first time. At 7pm, a major Irish music concert featuring the Green Fields of America will take place in the Castle Ballroom, with a line-up of renowned national and international artists, including Mick Moloney, former Johnstons member, Anthena Tergis, former lead fiddle player with Riverdance, Louise Mulcahy and Brenda Castles.

Tickets for festival events and information is available from the local hub/tourist office in Slane on (041) 982 4000.