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Brendan Gleeson for Birr tonight

Story by Laura Ryder

Wednesday, 15th January, 2014 12:00am

Brendan Gleeson for Birr tonight

Actor Brendan Gleeson is to play the fiddle in Birr tonight (Wednesday) as part of a quartet celebrating the 125th anniversary of the official opening of Oxmantown Hall.

Tonight's gig is part of a special Music Network tour, and will see the actor joined by banjo player Dirk Powell, flautist and piper Mike McGoldrick and guitarist Francis Gaffney.

Hollywood actor Brendan Gleeson needs no introduction to Irish audiences, although it is less well known that he is a highly-accomplished fiddle player.

Dirk Powell’s playing is deeply rooted in his Appalachian heritage, but he has played alongside artists as diverse as Emmylou Harris, Jack White, Joan Baez and Steve Earle in addition to working on soundtracks with many of today’s greatest film directors.

Powell’s genius for blending old and new will be well matched by the innovative flautist and piper Mike McGoldrick, co-founder of Lúnasa and Flook, who has performed with everyone from Sharon Shannon and the Afro-Celt Sound System to Youssou N’Dour and Mark Knopfler.

Neither are strangers to cross cultural collaborations, having regularly participated in the legendary BBC Transatlantic Sessions.

Completing the quartet is Francis Gaffney, a renowned guitarist from Boyle in Roscommon, who has regularly toured and recorded with artists such as John Carty, Alec Finn, Joe Kennedy and Arty McGlynn.

More information on tonight's gig is available from

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