An Cabaret Craicáilte: A Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí legacy

Photo: Pexels

After being laid to rest in his local church of “Na Doirí Beaga”, in Co Donegal, the dust has begun to settle on the loss of Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí.

The Irish broadcaster passed away last Tuesday at the age of 53, having been ill for some time.

Mac Aodha Bhuí was renowned for his work with RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta and presented shows such as Rónan Beo, Barrscéalta, Cúl an Tí and Géill Slí.

His career began in a pirate radio station, before moving to the Irish language news on Radio Century in Dublin.

From there he went onto television and presented “Scaoil Amach an Bobailín”, with Sean Bán Breathnach and Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh.

One of Rónán’s lesser-known feats was the establishment of Cabaret Craicáilte.

In 1993 Mac Aodha Bhuí and a group of friends founded an Irish social club called the ‘Ciorcal Craicáilte.’

In an interview for Spreag Fís, he stated the aim of Ciorcal Craicáilte was “to provide music and entertainment in Irish and to create a lively social scene in Irish for young Irish speakers”.

The club increased in popularity and the idea to hold festivals around the country came to life.

This led to the creation of the Cabaret Craicáilte, with the first one being held in Tigh Hiúdaí, Gaoth Dobhair.

Since then, the Cabaret has traveled across Ireland with over 20 events held every year.

It has also featured at high-profile gigs, including Electric Picnic.

The event emphasises new modern music through Irish, while celebrating the best of traditional music and sean nós.

It also includes global musicians, who write Irish language music specifically to play at the Cabaret.

“The Cabaret Craicáilte provides a stage for Irish language’s young musicians and for those that are more established.

“The main aim I had when we started off in 1993, was to ensure there was an Irish music industry as Gaeilge.”

As of yet, it is uncertain what the future holds for The Cabaret Craicáilte.

There is no doubt that the legacy Mac Aodha Bhuí has created will live on in the memories of the musicians, the supporters of the Cabaret, and of the many Irish language speakers who were inspired by his work.

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