Northern Ireland

Bernadette McAliskey to open festival in memory of Irish language broadcaster

Festival of Irish language, music and culture to celebrate life of Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí

Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí was one of Ireland's foremost Irish language broadcasters.
Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí was one of Ireland's foremost Irish language broadcasters.

A festival of Irish music, language and culture has been organised to celebrate the life of distinguished Donegal broadcaster Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí.

Veteran civil rights’ campaigner Bernadette McAliskey will open the Dorn San Aer (fist in the air) festival in Mac Aodha Bhuí's native Gaoth Dobhair in September. A revolutionary mantra Dorn San Aer was a favourite expression of Mac Aodha Bhuí.

One of Ireland’s foremost Irish language broadcasters, Mr Mac Aodha Bhuí (53) died last September following a long struggle with cancer.

His death led to a huge outpouring of grief across Ireland, including among Irish language activists north of the border, particularly in Derry and Belfast. Kneecap dedicated the signing of their new record deal to him.

Mr Mac Aodha Bhuí presented Raidio na Gaeltachta’s afternoon flagship programme and was also an accomplished television presenter.

The festival, from September 27 to 29, will feature art, music, culture and Irish language events. Twenty bands have already signed up for the festival at various venues in Gaoth Dobhair. There will also be poetry readings, dance music of all genres and other events.

A spokesman said they wished to build on Mr Mac Aodha Bhuí's work with an exciting, innovative and professional platform for Irish language artists.

“The Dorn San Aer festival takes its name from the rallying call first coined by Rónán to Irish speakers the world over to make art, music, culture, community, on their own terms, in their own language, and to resist colonial and imperial oppression.” he said.

The festival will be opened by Ms McAliskey at Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair on September 27. Further details are available at: