Acadamh Ceoil Tutors

About us

Moya Sweeney, Co-Ordinator, Acadamh Ceoil

Moya Sweeney is a button accordion player from Trillick, Co. Tyrone. As an accomplished Irish traditional musician and tutor, Moya has performed across Ireland and Europe. While competing in various competitions at county, provincial and All Ireland level, she has achieved an UIster title in 15-18 Button Accordion and All Ireland medals in Céilí Band competitions. Coming from a musical family, Moya has appeared on various television and radio programmes, such as BBC Two’s ‘I Lár an Aonaigh’ and RTE Radio 1’s ‘Céilí House’. As a member of Ulster University Choir, Moya performed in Michael Rooney’s ‘Famine Suite’ at IMBOLC in 2019, while also performing as a member of the IMBOLC Orchestra in 2020, along with Four Men & A Dog. In November 2019, Moya was selected to participate in the Traditional Music Writer Mentoring Scheme, in partnership with The Journal of Music. Here, she was given the opportunity to write review pieces and learn from established editors. Moya has recently graduated from Ulster University with a First-Class Honours in Music and continues to teach and aid young people through Irish traditional music.

Our tutors

Molly Walls (Fiddle)

Molly Walls from Moneyglass, County Antrim began playing the fiddle at the age of 10 under the guidance of Bríd Harper one of Donegal’s most renowned fiddle players. She has competed successfully in groups and with her sisters at various Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.  In 2018 Molly won one of the most prestigious traditional Irish music and singing competitions Siansa organised by Gael Linn, with the group Spleodar featuring 8 musicians from the counties Antrim, Tyrone and Monaghan. Molly has performed all over Ireland in various venues and festivals including The National Concert Hall in Dublin and The Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

Molly has also featured on many TV and Radio programs alongside her sisters Jane and Cara including RTÉ, BBC Trad Ar Fad, TG4 Gradam Ceoil and Siar Chuig an bhFleadh only to name a Few. Molly is currently part of the National Folk Orchestra of Ireland and the IMBOLC Orchestra under the direction of Michael Rooney preforming with artists including Four Men and a Dog and Daoíri Farrell. She performs on weekly basis for CIE Tours, American tourists at the Crosskeys Inn.

Molly currently attends St Mary’s University College, Belfast going into her third year studying BEd Primary with Music. She has been teaching music for four years both privately and for different organisations to a range of ages.

 

Megan Nic Fhionnghaile (Fiddle)

 

Dearbhla Scallon (Tin Whistle, Flute)

Dearbhla is a singer and musician from County Tyrone. Dearbhla learned to play the whistle and flute from a young age and has competed at All Ireland level. She has won All Ireland titles in Fleadh, Scór and Siansa competitions. Currently, Dearbhla is studying a degree in Irish with Music at the University of Ulster in Derry. She has taught private lessons and workshops for a number of years. Music has provided her with opportunities to appear on televisions and radio, to take part in events and festivals all over Ireland and further afield.

Oisín Murphy (Banjo)

Oisín Murphy is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist from Co. Monaghan. Growing up within the locality of the Sliabh Beagh regional area of Irish traditional music, he committed to studies in music at Bachelors and Masters level in Ulster University Magee in 2017 & 2020. He has competed in multiple Fleadhanna and compeititons in his youth, with success coming in the All Ireland Senior Solo competitions for banjo and mandolin in recent years, with a mentionable win with the group ‘Spleodar’ in the Siansa Gael Linn competition in 2018. Appearances in the IMBOLC Orchestra in 2019 & 2020 with fellow Monaghan composer Michael Rooney and supergroup Four Men & A Dog, come to mind as one of his favourite highlights from his time spent in Derry. With an influence from musicians around the world such as Eamonn Coyne, George McAdam & Bronagh Graham, he possesses a repertoire of tunes best suited for the banjo picking kind. You will often see Oisín in and around the pubs and venues of the north, playing sessions, practising, recording or performing with family and friends.

 

Eleanor Gaffney (Concertina)

 

Darrell Smith (piano)

Darrell Smith is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where he studied piano under James Kirby. He has performed in many masterclasses to artists such as Llyr Williams, Peter Donohoe, Iain Burnside and Simon Lepper, as well as in venues such as St David’s Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, National Museum Cardiff and Dora Stoutzker Hall. He has also performed at Lancaster Jazz Festival with the Neil Crowley trio. Darrell has featured several national radio programmes, such as BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio 4, featuring on a documentary with jazz musician Jamie Cullum.

John Goodman (drums)

John Goodman is a drummer and percussionist from Derry, who has played in various punk bands, funk outfits and orchestral ensembles. In the last few years, John has enjoyed playing in a range of theatrical performances, with the most recent productions including Hairspray, Legally Blonde and Edges. He has just returned from touring Germany with James Bond Live, and is excited to return to teaching drums and percussion to young musicians in the making.

 

Tom Byrne (Harmonica, Button Accordion)

 

Damian McKee (Button Accordion)

Damian McKee from Dunloy, Co. Antrim, is a top exponent of the button accordion and is a member of renowned Irish band Beoga. In the ‘90s he toured Ireland, Britain and America with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and over the last few years he has continued to travel worldwide as his music became popular within Irish dance circles. He is a prolific composer and many of his works feature in the Beoga repertoire. Through his teaching, Damian’s influence on traditional accordion playing in the North of Ireland is far-reaching. He is in frequent demand for workshops throughout Ireland, as well as the USA and Canada.

Lauren O’Neill (Harp)

Lauren O’Neill from Glenullin, Co. Derry learned harp from an early age at the Hampsey Harp School in Garvagh. She is an All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil finalist, and has shared a stage with Alan Kelly & Eddi Reader, Enda Seery, Darren Breslin and a host of Ireland’s best musicians. She currently studies Irish & Music at Ulster University and performs with Ceoltóirí Crosskeys. Lauren has had the privilege of playing for President Michael D. Higgins in Dublin Castle and the European Parliament in Brussels. Over the years, Lauren has had masterclasses with world-class harpists, such as Catriona McKay, Gráinne Hambly and Laoise Kelly. She has been teaching music for over 5 years and has a host of young harpists under her guidance.

Moya Sweeney (Bodhran)

Moya Sweeney is a button accordion player from Trillick, Co. Tyrone. As an accomplished Irish traditional musician and tutor, Moya has performed across Ireland and Europe. While competing in various competitions at county, provincial and All Ireland level, she has achieved an UIster title in 15-18 Button Accordion and All Ireland medals in Céilí Band competitions. Coming from a musical family, Moya has appeared on various television and radio programmes, such as BBC Two’s ‘I Lár an Aonaigh’ and RTE Radio 1’s ‘Céilí House’. As a member of Ulster University Choir, Moya performed in Michael Rooney’s ‘Famine Suite’ at IMBOLC in 2019, while also performing as a member of the IMBOLC Orchestra in 2020, along with Four Men & A Dog. In November 2019, Moya was selected to participate in the Traditional Music Writer Mentoring Scheme, in partnership with The Journal of Music. Here, she was given the opportunity to write review pieces and learn from established editors. Moya has recently graduated from Ulster University with a First-Class Honours in Music and continues to teach and aid young people through Irish traditional music.

Jack Warnock (Guitar, Piano, Traditional Singing)

Jack Warnock is a multi-instrumentalist (piano, guitar banjo) and vocalist from Maghera, Co. Derry. As Guitar/Piano/Vocalist in the traditional groups Cóiriú and Meargánta he performed in the final of Siansa Gael Linn at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on multiple occasions, and at the Royal Albert Hall, London. He won the An Ré Nua (solo singing) competition in the lead-up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2013 in Derry and was placed 2nd in the 15-18 Accompaniment competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2014. He has shared the stage with many fantastic musicians, playing support for We Banjo 3, Ulaid, Brendan Mulholland and more. Jack has also provided accompaniment for musicians such as Liz Doherty, Darren Breslin and Troy MacGillivray over the past year. He is currently studying Irish with Music at the Magee Campus of Ulster University and is part of The Doc Flock who will be appearing at the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in October 2016.

 

Micky Fearon (Guitar)

 

 

Jane Walls (Uilleann Pipes)

 

Paddy Kenny (Tin Whistle)

Paddy Kenny, from Derry City began playing the whistle at the age of six, developing through the local Comhaltas branch based in the city. He is also classically trained and has achieved Grade 8 in Clarinet. He has been teaching Tin Whistle in Derry for the past 5 years, bringing through young talent and helping them achieve success in competitions and grades. He has performed in France and also at the European Parliament in Brussels as part of the efforts to bring Fleadh 2013 to Derry.