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



Sean McCarthy Memorial Traditional Irish


Ballad Competition 2020

Dates for festival August 1st - August 3rd 2020


Download Ballad Competition Entry Form Here






Results for the Sean McCarthy Ballad Competition 2019


             NAME                                     COUNTY                      SONG


Winner      Caroline  Calaghan                                   Ardfert, Kerry                              SCARABHIN

                  Sean McGrath                                          Galway                                       SKIBREEN BREEDERS

                 John Kinsella                                             Listowel, Kerry                           THE FREE TRAVEL




Results of the Mick McCarthy Story Telling Final 2019

WINNER                 Marie Guillian                                         Cork                           BLACK OPAL

                                Sonny Egan                                            Lixnaw                      THE HAY SHED

                                 Francis Kennedy                                   Listowel                    PENDING PETE



Rules of the Ballad Competition

  1. Entries to be received by no later than "to be fixed" 2020

  2. Entries to be submitted on CD with 3 typed copies (Or in very clear handwriting) Also your E-Mail address

  3. Entries to be accompanied by cheque/postal order for €25.00.

  4. No entries will be returned.

  5. Name, address and telephone number to be clearly written on CD cover and on the back of each copy of lyrics.

  6. Finalists will perform their entry in Teach Siamsa  Finuge on "Date and time to be fixed"

  7. The overall winner and runner-up will be decided then.

  8. Entries may be in English or Irish. One or Two Musicians only to Accompany the Performer.

  9. Entries must be original and not previously performed or published.

  10. No in-house music supplied by committee.

  11. No pre-recorded backing music allowed.

  12. Adjudicators’ decision is final.(3Judges)

  13. Make Cheques or Postal Orders to Sean McCarthy Weekend.


Performances on the night of the final may be recorded and /or video @ the Committees discretion. Such recordings may be played /transmitted on the sound and visual media, e.g. radio, television, Internet; entrants are deemed to have given their permission for it unless otherwise indicated by them to the Committee


Send entries to...

Peggie O’Connell, Irremore, Listowel Co.Kerry. 

Mobile: 087 -9049371

Enquiries: Bridget O’Connor, phone 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

  • Just send the Name of the Story you are going to Perform.

  • {Hand writing must be clear and all entries must be clearly marked “Story Telling” on envelope.}

  • Entries must be received no later than "to be fixed" 2020

  • Final will take place in Teach Siamsa Finuge "date and time to be fixed"

  • 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

    1. accuracy and fluency of speed 40%

    2. Irish content (humorous, serious, historical) 40%

    3. 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….

  1. Has an original story been well conveyed?

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

  3. 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.