Athens Irish Festival
Highlights include uilleann piper Padraic Keane, flutist Fearghas Mac Gormain, fiddlers Cliodhna Begley and Aidan Connolly, concertina player Paddy Egan, and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Caoimhin O Fearghail, as well as a host of local of local Irish-themed acts.
Visit inisarts.gr/athens-irish-festival for more information.
(Photo: Originally named “Keltoi”, Iernis is the oldest Celtic music band in Greece, with the Australian-born George and Manolis Galiatsos brothers as its core, and it concerns itself with the spread of traditional Celtic music in our counry since 1997, but also with the conservation and performance of Celtic songs which have not appeared often in discography. Many of them are in the form of a cappella recordings by traditional singers, and they are re-arranged according to the band's aesthetics, after many years of studying and persistently researching their historical, anthropological and musical background.
The band has created a soundscape of tunes and songs from Ireland, Scotland, Bretagne, Galicia, as well as some American tunes, using traditional Irish instruments such as the wooden flute, fiddles, Irish whistles, bodhrán, banjo, mandolin, Irish bouzouki (built by Manolis), and Uilleann pipes with Scott Mavroudis. On December 2012 they released their first album called “Beyond a far-off shore”, and since 2014 they are among the founding and directing members of the Athens Celtic Music Festival. At times they have collaborated with great musicians such as Andy Irvine, Dónal Lunny, Jack Rogers and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. On June 2012 Manolis and George Galiatsos performed as guests of Andy Irvine at the concerts dedicated to his 70th birthday at Vicar Street, Dublin, and on 2019 they invited him to perform at the 5th Athens Celtic Music Festival.
What is behind the name Iernis? "Iérnē" was the name given by the ancient Greek explorer Pytheas of Massilia to the place now known as Ireland, during his journeys in north-western Europe circa 320 BC, based on the preexisting local Proto-Goidelic name Īweriū, from which Éire is also derived. During Roman times the Alexandrian philosopher Claudius Ptolemy called it "Iouernia", hence the Latin version Hibernia, and a town called Ivernis was mentioned in south-western Ireland, its people called Iverni. This name was derived from Proto-Indo-European *PiHwerjoHn, "fertile land", and was perhaps once the common name for all the inhabitants of Ireland.)