Global Irish singing sensation that is Celtic Thunder has just announced their latest CD and DVD entitled ‘Legacy - Volume I’, will be released in late February 2016. Filmed at Casino Rama in Ontario this March, the companion television special will air on Public Television stations across the US and Canada in March ’16.

'Legacy' is a review of Celtic Thunder’s most popular songs to date and sees Celtic Thunder soloists Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Emmett O’Hanlon and Neil Byrne joined by guest artist and former cast mate Damian McGinty.

In 'Legacy – Volume I,' Celtic Thunder creates a perfect blend of entertainment and tradition, delivering the best of their much loved ensemble numbers with selections from their 9 tours to date. Song choices include the big opening number 'Heartland' and other upbeat ensembles such as 'Raggle Taggle Gypsy',  'Galway Girl' and 'A Place in The Choir'. Of course, no Celtic Thunder show would be complete without a performance of their rousing signature anthems 'Caledonia and 'Ireland’s Call', which never fail to bring the audience to its feet.




It’s been a while since I updated you on Celtic Thunder news and I hope you are all doing well.

Celtic Thunder has spent the past couple of months transitioning from the Verve (Universal) Record Label to our new home at Legacy (Sony) Record Label and we are really excited about the move. We’ve recently reissued our entire catalog on Sony

For the first time ever Walmart are carrying our Celtic Thunder Classic Christmas (Holiday Symphony) CD and Target are carrying the Celtic Thunder Christmas CD.

This is huge for Celtic Thunder, to be in these massive retail chains and how Celtic Thunder sells in these stores in the first couple of weeks, will determine whether they carry Celtic Thunder future releases. I would ask you, if you have some Celtic Thunder products on your gift list this year, please consider purchasing them at your local Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble or Costco. If we make a good impression, they will carry future CT releases!

I also wanted to let you know that we have made a few changes to a couple of the CDs and DVDs.



Celtic Thunder’s Australian fans will be delighted to learn that we are heading back Down Under in early 2016!  We are currently finalizing tour dates for our 2016 Australian “Legacy” Tour which will take place next May and will have a full list of tour dates for you shortly so keep checking back with us!

The tour will be based on our latest CD and DVD “Legacy” which we filmed in Casino Rama, Ontario in March 2015. “Legacy – Volume I” will be released on CD and DVD in February 2016.

“Legacy – Volume I” is a review of Celtic Thunder’s most popular songs to date and sees Celtic Thunder soloists Colm Keegan, Keith Harkin, Ryan Kelly, Emmett O’Hanlon and Neil Byrne joined by guest artist and former cast mate Damian McGinty.

In “Legacy – Volume I” Celtic Thunder creates a perfect blend of entertainment and tradition, delivering the best of their much loved ensemble numbers with selections from their 9 tours to date. Song choices include the big opening number “Heartland” and other upbeat ensembles such as “Raggle Taggle Gypsy”  “Galway Girl” and “A Place in The Choir”. Of course, no Celtic Thunder show would be complete without a performance of their rousing signature anthems “Caledonia” and “Ireland’s Call”, which never fail to bring the audience to its feet.



As many of our fans are aware, Celtic Thunder has recently joined forces with Sony Entertainment and on October 30th we re-issued all of our catalog items on our new record label. Our Christmas CDs are now available in Wal-Mart and Target stores for the first time ever. The full catalog is available at Barnes and Noble stores and Costco is carrying select titles. Digital downloads of the DVDs will soon be available on iTunes and on the Celtic Thunder Online Store for the first time ever, the CDs are already available in digital format.

Celtic Thunder will release it’s latest CD and DVD entitled “Legacy – Volume I” in February 2016 with the TV Special airing on Public Television stations across the US and Canada in March ’16. The Legacy show will also be on tour in the US and Canada from August – December 2016 and select Public Television stations will be offering tickets and Meet and Greet passes during their March pledge drives. More details will be announced in time and will be available on the Celtic Thunder Website & all Celtic Thunder Social Media, so keep checking back with us! This will be one of the largest tours Celtic Thunder has ever undertaken. The Legacy show that we will be touring will be based on the one that we filmed in Casino Rama in March 2015. They Legacy tour will also be hitting Australian shores in May 2016, and details of those dates will be released very soon!



The Celtic Thunder Official Fan Club also launched back in September 2014 and we thank all of our fans who have already signed up. Be sure to check out all the wonderful benefits of being a Celtic Thunder Fan Club Member, such as advance purchasing of VIP Seating for Celtic Thunder Show Tickets, Celtic Thunder Events (VIP Artist & Sound Check Passes). You can still enjoy the many benefits of the Celtic Thunder Fan Club all year around, with the many Membership Benefits such as viewing any Celtic Thunder DVD Video, B-Roll Video & Tour Tuesday Video from the Celtic Thunder Official Website or Platinum Members enjoying a free music download once per month. Celtic Thunder also has an Official Fan Club Tee, the 'Ogham Tee', designed by one of Irelands Top Graphic Designers. The Celtic Thunder Fan Club is free to all who want to join, with paid subscriptions for anyone seeking additional benefits, and payment options to fit everyone's budget!



From Silk Scarves, Holiday Candy and Irish Jewelry to Celtic Thunder Ornament, Christmas Cards, Calendars and more, the Celtic Thunder Seasonal Store has something for everyone! Check out the great selection now available with more being added soon! Remember to shop in plenty of time for the Holidays as everything ships from Ireland.

The Celtic Thunder Christmas Cards are a great addition to this year’s store! Send Holiday greetings to you friends and family with a card featuring your favorite Celtic Thunder member. Available as an assorted pack with all 7 guys or as individual packs featuring your favorite!! Each pack contains 7 cards with envelopes included!



We have arrived at a new time. Let us realise it. And with that new time strange methods, huge forces, large combinations - a Titanic world - have sprung up around us."
Winston Churchill, 23rd May 1909

In the early 20th Century, Belfast was enjoying the greatest boom in its history. The city was a global leader in engineering, ship-building and linen manufacturing, and Belfast’s Harland & Wolff had become the largest shipyard in the world.

In 1908 two new giant slipways were built and the enormous Arrol Gantry erected to prepare for the construction of the largest ships in the world: Olympic & Titanic.

31st May 1911; the launching of Titanic was a momentous occasion, with an estimated 100,000 people (one third of the city’s population) turning out to watch. The Ship of Dreams' was the most luxurious, sizable and prestigious ocean liner afloat with furnishings, fittings and food to rival the finest hotels in the world.

On April 2nd, 1912 the completed Titanic left Belfast to embark passengers from England, France & Ireland before heading across the North Atlantic for America.




2016 marks the Centenary of the Easter Rising in Ireland. The Easter Rising of 1916 was one of the defining moments in the struggle for Irish independence - indeed it may be regarded as the turning point for the fortunes of Irish republicanism. And this despite the fact that the rebellion was a total failure ... but its bloody aftermath united the Irish. Commemorative events and ceremonies have already began taking place in Ireland and we will focus on different aspects of the 1916 Rising in the Celtic Times over the coming months.

The commemoration will be measured and reflective, and will be informed by a full acknowledgement of the complexity of historical events and their legacy, of the multiple readings of history, and of the multiple identities and traditions which are part of the Irish historical experience.

2016 will belong to everyone on this island and to our friends and families overseas – regardless of political or family background, or personal interpretation of our modern history.

The Government is committed to ensuring that 2016 will be a year of rich and diverse activities when the full complexity of the last 100 years on this island can be explored and celebrated.




All self-respecting Celtic Thunder fans will probably have heard the lads from Celtic Thunder talk about Barry’s Tea. It probably gets mentioned a couple of times every day! Cups of tea in the morning on the bus, cups of tea before and after sound check and the all-important post show cup of tea at the end of the evening! In fact the Irish are the 2nd largest consumers of tea per capita (after Turkey) in the world and we like to think that we at Celtic Thunder do at our bit to achieve that statistic!! So you know we love our cuppa tea and you know that we drink Barry’s Tea from Cork…. So we thought it would be interesting to tell you a little bit more about the history of one of our favorite companies.

Barry’s Tea was founded in 1901 by James J. Barry, grandfather of the current Chairman, Peter Barry. From the very beginning, quality was at the heart of the family  business. In 1934, Anthony Barry was awarded the Empire Cup for tea blending, confirming his expertise in the tea trade. This tradition of quality without compromise continues to this day.




There is every chance of being awe-struck at the Irish music festival that closes the door on winter and ushers in the light and energy of spring. Because TradFest is back again (27 – 31 Jan 2016) to offer awesome opportunities for feeling every note from a stellar line-up of traditional and folk music acts in some of the Irish capital's most historic places.

Based around the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, Dublin’s heaving cultural quarter and creative hub, it's Ireland's largest showcase of trad and folk in its many forms – the organizers like to call it 'radical trad'.The festival will feature a wide range of free events including pipe bands, céilí, nightly pub sessions, workshops, exhibitions, film screenings and fun for all the family.

And as well as introducing new and emerging talent to Dublin audiences, the 2016 programmed is staging two star studded gala nights that will bring a mix of artists together for moments of trad music magic.

In a roll call of Irish legends, Dervish, Lunasa and Triad will each take the stage at The Printworks at historic Dublin Castle (30 Jan), an incredible place to experience live music.




Many may already be acquainted with Ireland’s bigger sights. Even if you haven’t visited, you’ll probably have heard about the Cliffs of Moher, the Rock of Cashel and the Giant’s Causeway. Go exploring, though, and you’ll find plenty more treasures just off the beaten track. Here are some places that are 'must sees' when visiting.

Classiebawn Castle is a country house built for Viscount Palmerston on what was formerly a 10,000 acre estate on the Mullaghmore peninsula near the village of Cliffoney, County Sligo, in the Republic of Ireland. The current castle was largely built in the nineteenth century.

It was designed in the Baronial style by J. Rawson Carrol, a Dublin-based architect, and is constructed from a yellow-brown sandstone brought by sea from County Donegal. It comprises a gabled range with a central tower topped by a conical roofed turret.




A special hanging of two portraits painted 40 years apart is marking the second anniversary of the death of Seamus Heaney, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century.

The Ulster Museum in Belfast is displaying, for the first time together, the first commissioned portrait of Heaney and the last portrait ever to be painted of the internationally renowned Northern Irish writer.

The earlier painting is Edward McGuire’s Portrait of Seamus Heaney, which was painted in 1974. It will hang alongside Colin Davidson’s Portrait of Seamus Heaney, an oil painting on canvas, which was painted just months before Heaney’s death in 2013.

Kim Mawhinney, Head of Art at National Museums Northern Ireland, said: “Seamus Heaney was one of Ireland’s most important cultural figures and we are pleased to be able to mark the second anniversary of the death of this literary great.




The Dubline was developed by Fáilte Ireland to be an easy way for visitors to explore the city from Trinity College Dublin to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Fáilte Ireland chief executive Shaun Quinn said the trails will go some way towards strengthening the capital’s calling card as a “must-visit” destination. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said he believed the trails would encourage visitors to “slow down and spend a longer while here. That’s good news for tourism activity, revenue and jobs in the local economy.”

Four new Dublin Discovery Trails have been added to the spine of the existing Dubline trail.

Echoes of War reflects on Dublin’s past association with the British army and features trips to the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Kilmainham Gaol, the Irish National War Memorial Gardens and Collins Barracks.

Empire includes stops at Dublin Castle, Trinity College, St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Bank of Ireland - places prominent when Dublin was the second city of the British Empire.

Rebellion includes the GPO, the Royal College of Surgeons, Moore Street, O’Rahilly Parade and the Garden of Remembrance, and focuses on the six days of the Easter Rising.

Story of Dublin will guide you through streets broad and narrow and take you on a thrilling journey through Dublin’s 1000-year history.




You could say that Monart is a love letter to Wexford. Everything from the architecture to the interior design, the carpentry to the food has been lovingly created by locals. Not to mention the Celtic Gardens and adjoining woodlands, designed by Chelsea winner Mary Reynolds. Most of the staff are local too, and they are refreshingly devoid of the pomp and ceremony that characterizes many five-star hotels. Tranquility is the raison d'être here. They take your car keys from you on arrival and urge you to potter about the place in your bathrobe for the duration of your visit. Make sure to visit the thermal suite: in most spas this is an add-on gimmick, here it's an all-out experience.

Monart is a 5 star adults-only destination spa. Sleep and relaxation is key to the Great Escape experience at Monart Spa. Accommodation is extremely important and Monart promises to ensure all guests the best night’s sleep possible with comfort, quality and relaxation being essential.

Monart have 68 deluxe bedrooms, which are all nestled, away in the serene woodlands of Monart. All of the rooms are exceptionally spacious with spa-style Italian marble bathrooms. Bathrooms are equipped with complimentary renowned French spa amenities, fluffy signature bathrobes and slippers. Guest may choose from balcony style rooms or terrace style rooms with a lake or woodlands view. Whichever room you choose Monart promises to ensure comfort, quality and relaxation during your stay.



With an emphasis on the very best of locally sourced artisan produce, the menu at Dublin’s Chapter One has Ireland at its heart. Chef and co-owner Ross Lewis has set a tasting menu brimming with gastronomic treats. Notable mentions go to the cured Clare Island organic salmon with smoked salmon mousse, fresh peas and yuzu jelly and the Pig’s tail stuffed with Fingal Ferguson’s bacon and lobster. The menu selection changes regularly, so you are guaranteed the best seasonal ingredients. The building was once home to John Jameson—of Irish whiskey fame—and Chapter One makes beautiful use of the vaulted basement. Certainly one of Dublin’s most atmospheric and delicious dining spots.

If the kitchen is the engine room of Chapter One then the restaurant is most definitely “The Good Room”! It has been renovated and upgraded over the past five years under the watchful eye of our interior architect Maria MacVeigh. It is sleek and elegant with the use of textured fabrics and warm colors to create a comfortable and elegant space.

With a conscious effort to source Irish crafts people who have made various pieces for us, such as Kieran Higgins’ bog oak sculpts, Joe Hogan’s hand woven baskets, Colm Hassett’s beautiful table for the Jameson Room and David Coyne’s bespoke pedestals and stunning table in the Demi Salle. The wood used in these pieces is all sourced in Ireland and the artwork is from predominantly Irish artists. Chapter One very committed to celebrating the integrity of people who are masters of their craft.




We don’t have a Thanksgiving holiday in Ireland, more’s the pity! However we decided this month to imagine what an Irish Thanksgiving would entail, so we’ve put a slightly Irish slant on things…. Smoked Salmon Pate, Cheesy Parsnip Bake, Roast Turkey Irish Style and 2 desserts (well it is Thanksgiving!) - Apple Crumble and Custard and Pumpkin Pie with Baileys Cream! Yum. Above all a very Happy Thanksgiving to our US based readers, and as we say in Ireland - Slainte!




The Eastside of Belfast is getting ready to celebrate the life and works of one of its literary greats – C.S. Lewis.  From 19th – 22nd November, EastSide Arts and Connswater Community Greenway will present the 3rd C.S. Lewis Festival.  The Festival will not only showcase Lewis’ diverse works and legacy but his strong connections to his childhood home of east Belfast. Through a series of events and activities including talks, film, theatre, arts, crafts, readings, music, workshops, exhibitions, tours and literature - everyone is invited to open the wardrobe door to the world of C.S. Lewis.

Clive Lewis Staples, known to his friends as Jack, was ‘born and bred’ in east Belfast; a place he would often return to throughout his life.  His works have inspired a huge number of adults, through his books on theology and literary criticism, and millions of children through his most well known works The Chronicles of Narnia.  A World War I solider, a lecturer at Oxford and Cambridge, an expert in medieval and renaissance literature, poet, sci-fi writer and friend to another literary great  - J.R.R. Tolkien - the festival will explore these facets of C.S. Lewis and especially his fond, life-long relationship with his childhood city.




The final round of the 2015 World Rally Championship will see strong representation from over a dozen Irish competitors as they tackle Wales Rally GB this weekend.

Killarney's Paul Nagle will partner Kris Meeke in their factory Citroen DS3 World Rally Car. Having endured a testing season, which has seen good results tempered with frustrating retirements, the pair will be looking to end their season on a high in the Welsh forests. While Nagle will be making his fifth appearance on Wales Rally GB, his fellow county men Rob Duggan and Ger Conway will be making their world championship debut. Duggan and Conway recently won the Carryduff Forklifts R2 Championship giving them a prize drive on the World Rally Championship finale in an R3 Citroen DS3. Duggan is also a nominee for Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year and will face the interview panel just two days after returning from Wales.




The Irish word for fairy is sheehogue [sidheóg], a diminutive of "shee" in banshee. Fairies are deenee shee [daoine sidhe] (fairy people).

Who are they? "Fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved, nor bad enough to be lost," say the peasantry. "The gods of the earth," says the Book of Armagh. "The gods of pagan Ireland," say the Irish antiquarians, "the Tuatha De Danān, who, when no longer worshipped and fed with offerings, dwindled away in the popular imagination, and now are only a few spans high."

And they will tell you, in proof, that the names of fairy chiefs are the names of old Danān heroes, and the places where they especially gather together, Danān burying-places, and that the Tuath De Danān used also to be called the slooa-shee [sheagh sidhe] (the fairy host), or Marcra shee (the fairy cavalcade).



I SEE HIS BLOOD UPON THE ROSE - Joseph Mary Plunkett

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.