follow us on Twitter follow us on Twitter
follow us on facebook follow us on facebook


Sean McCarthy Memorial Traditional Irish Ballad Competition

Download Ballad Competition Entry Form Here


The Winner and Runners up for the Sean McCarthy Ballad Competition



Pete Gilroy (Galway) for his song "Rosie" Received a cheque for €1,200 and a Trophy

First Runner up

John Kinsella (Listowel) for his song "As I sail the Jeanie Johnson" received a cheque for €500

Second Runner up

Sean Dillon (Ballybunion) for his song "Cliff of Banemore" received a cheque for €300

Kindly sponsored by Mike & Sue Nillson IMRO & The Estate of Sean McCarthy



Winner and Runners up for the Mick McCarthy Story Telling Competition



Francis Kennedy (Listowel) for her story "Snow White and Brand New" received a cheque for €1000 and a Trophy

First Runner up

Tom Moore (Moyvane) with his story "Looking For A Woman" received a cheque for €500

Second Runner up

Maire Gillen (Cork) with her story "The Old Woman 3 Tests" received acheque for €250

Kindly Sponsored by Lionel McCarthy


Rules of the Ballad Competition

  • Closing date for entries for the Ballad competition is Friday 21st July 2017
  • Entries to be submitted on CD, with 3 typed copies (or in very clear handwriting). Also include your email address.
  • Entries to be accompanied by cheque/postal order for €25.00
  • No entries will be returned
  • Name, Address and Telephone number to be clearly written on tape cover and back of each copy of lyrics.
  • Finalists will perform their entry in Finuge at Teach Siamsa on Saturday 5th August 2017 @ 8pm
  • The over all winner and runner-up will be decided then.
  • Entries may be in English or Irish and no more than 2 musicians to accompany the performer.
  • Entries must be original and not previously performed or published.
  • No in-house music supplied by committee.
  • No pre-recorded backing music allowed.
  • Adjudicators’ decision is final  [3 Judges].
  • Make Cheques or Postal Orders to Sean McCarthy Weekend.
  • Performances on the night of the Final may be recorded and/or videod at the Committees discretion. Such recordings may be played/transmitted on the sound and visual media, eg radio, television, internet etc. entrants are deemed to have given their permission for same unless otherwise indicated by them to the Committee

Send Entries to ...

Peggie O Connell, Irremore, Listowel Co. Kerry

phone: 068 40203 / Mobile: 087 9049371


Enquiries: Bridget O Connor

Tel: 087 6250516







Rules for the Mick McCarthy All Ireland Story Telling Competition

Once Upon A Time......

Downlown Rules For Mick McCarthy Story Telling Competition

  • The story must be Irish in character and told in a local style

  • Hand writing must be clear and all entries must be clearly marked “Story Telling” on envelope, or you can just send the Title for the "Story Telling" Competition you are going to perform.

  • Entries must be received no later than 21st July

  • Final will take place on Sunday Night 6th August in Teach Siamsa Finuge at 8.30pm

  • An Entry fee of €10 must be paid

  • The theme can be humorous, serious or a mixture of both, historic and true to tradition.

  • The length of the story must be a minimum of 3 minutes and a maximum of 6 minutes.

Marking system

  • Accuracy and fluency of speed 40%

  • Irish content (humorous, serious, historical) 40%

  • Confidence/Serenity 20%

Story Telling and Adjudication Criteria



Clear narrative is put across; characters, places and events are well developed and described with a creative use of language.


There is a sense of character and style in the telling.  Audience interest is kept throughout with natural flow and “fireside” ease and with humour or emotion where appropriate.

Interpretation and /or originality

New stories and old stories are welcome and can be on any topic or theme and Irish in character.  Key considerations should be….

  • Has an original story been well conveyed?

  • Has an old story been re-imagined and / or delivered creatively?

  • Has a new story been created and told in the traditional Irish style and of good standard?


For the purposes of scheduling, tellers are required to keep their stories between 3 and 6 minutes in duration in competition. Judges may deduct points if competitors run over