Christy Moore has given a wonderful account of the Aeríocht on his website news, where he says:

“On Sunday 31st of July I performed at Féile na Laoch in Coolea, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork.
It was organised by Peadar Ó Riada and family along with the local community. It marked the 80th birthday of Peadar’s father, the late Sean Ó Riada. 48 hours later I am coming around to the thought that it was, perhaps, the best festival I have ever attended. I have never before witnessed such an array of performers in such a unique setting and circumstance. I hope to provide the full list of performers later but for now I can tell you that it began after a parade in a field at about 9pm on Sunday night. The stage was build entirely by local volunteer labour. At the commencement that stage was facing the sunset. It was moved on the hour after each module. Come dawn, the stage was facing the rising sun. The lighting was minimal but adequate, while the sound by Allie Ó Riada, was excellent. The concert was divided into 7 modules. There was poetry, Literature, Storytelling, Dance, Music, Singing and a dramatic finale after dawn.
Highlights for me included Michael D. Higgins who read a selection of his poems, Barry McGovern who gave us a rousing recital of Sam Beckett, Michéal O’Muireacheartaigh who enthralled us with his reflections. Noel O’Grady sang a beautiful version of “The Lass of Aughrim”, Cara O’Sullivan sang gloriously in the morning light. Then Michéal O’Rourke, who came from Paris, silenced the GAA field for 11 minutes while he caressed the perfectly tuned Grand Piano at 4am in the morning. Only Peadar Ó Riada could dream it up. Alan McDonald came from the Northern Isles of Scotland and played the Scottish Pipes. I sat on stage beside Séan Ó Sé who performed all those years ago in Séan Ó Riada’s ground-breaking ensemble Ceoltoirí Chualainn. He sang out into the night, his voice as beautiful as ever. Monica Loughman, who has danced with the Bolshoi Ballet, came with a troupe of young ballet dancers and it was simply enchanting. During her performance the clouds cleared and the stars came out to shine. Martin Hayes played a selection of Peadar Ó Riada’s music, Steve Wickham played a tune for all the Coolea dogs that turned up and were having the night of their lives. Phil Coulter have a rendition of his own song “The Town I Love So Well”, I gave a blast of “Lord Baker” and “Tippin It Up”, Glen Hansard got the field rockin with Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Caoimhín Ó Raghaillaigh played and a young man danced – this is but a sample of what took place over a 12 hour period.
Then came The Volunteer Youth Orchestra from Cork under the baton of John O’Brien. They performed a wonderful rendition of Sean Ó Riada’s Mise Éire suite as the sun rose over the mist covered fields of beautiful Coolea … Simultaneously there came running down that mountain a fleet of Warriors lead by Séan Óg Ó hAilpín. Brandishing hurling sticks and banners they ran through the river and out onto the field where they jousted in the early morning sun. The O’Carolan brothers came from The Glens of Antrim and Michéal O’Muireacheartaigh gave us a rousing history of the Tuatha Dé Danaan’s last hurling match on earth just before those good people departed to the Underworld. They have not been back since but one could sense their presence on that August Morning.

Apart from the stage performances, what made Féile na Laoch so special was its ethos and atmosphere. There was no branding, no alcohol on sale (People did bring their own refreshments). There was no drunkenness, no violence, no sponsors, no cover charge, no hard sell, and no security. There were 3 local Garda present who were enjoying the festival as much as the rest of us. All the personnel were members of the Coolea Community, Local teenagers and children dispensed the tea, coffee and sandwiches. There was a cauldron of stew of the bubble but that soon sold out …

The memory of Féile na Laoch will never leave me. As Peadar Ó Riada said, it was of the earth, it was of nature. I clearly recall him saying from the stage “It is past midnight now, it is the 1st of August, we are gathered here in nature, it is raining, we know how it feels”. Then he introduced the next leg of the concert which was storytelling. One man said that it reminded him of Carnsore Point in 1978, another woman thought it was like being back in Lisdoonvarna …
12 hours after entering the magic field I made my way from Coolea back to Ballyvourney exhausted, but inspired by what I had witnessed. The next Féile na Laoch will be in 2018 and I have been asked to attend … See you there.”

We are delighted that Christy thought so much of the festival and appreciate him taking the time to tell his fans. The original can be found on his website (http://www NULL.christymoore