The festival honouring the balladeer Sean McCarthy, takes place in Finuge, Co. Kerry every August Bank Holiday Weekend.

The Sean McCarthy Memorial Weekend Festival, now in its 24th year is run in honour of Sean McCarthy. This year, the The Fureys are playing on the Friday night, as a tribute to John Joe Somers .There is the Mick McCarthy Storytelling Competition, Ballad competitions, and Live Bands. This year we have a great children's craft session  on  Saturday morning. A great biodiversity walk , a community picnic and the electric Liam O’Connor Show makes this an event for all the family. There is the biggest ballad session in Kerry on the Saturday night and a fun BBQ for everyone on Monday afternoon. A unique traditional Festival not to be missed.From 4th August to 7th August 2017, Finuge Co.Kerry is where everyone wants to be.


 Sean was born in Listowel on July 5th 1923. He was one of a family of ten children. He attended Listowel Primary School, where his teacher for a time was Dr. Bryan McMahon, who once said of Sean that "he was always a special person, I'll even go so far as to say he was unique."

Among his best known songs are "Shanagolden", "Red Haired Mary", "Highland Paddy", "Murphy's Volunteers",, "Step it out Mary", "Mountain Tae, (Hills of Connemara) adn "In Shame Love, In shame".

Over the years Sean entertained and delighted thousands of listeners to "Sunday Miscellany" adn "Thought for the Day" on RTE Radio. His songs are available at the Seanchai - Kerry Literacy & Cultural Centre, The Square, Listowel, Tel: 068 22212 

He played a major role in promoting "The Rambling House" on Radio Kerry, which is now continued at Sheahan's Thatched House, Finuge over the winter months. See Classes and Events section for more details.

The Sean McCarthy Memorial Weekend provides a fitting tribute to an individual who will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity.

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The handing over of the keys of Sheehans Thatch Cottage, from Patrick Sheehan to the community of Finuge in 2000. This amazing video features never before seen footage, of a few National Heroes and a few local ones too. Many of whom are no longer with us. From Eamon Kelly, and his wife Maura, John B Keane, and Maureen Beasley. With performances from Peggy Sweeney and the Bogadeers. This incredible video has the blessing of the thatch from the late great Fr. Pat Moore. So lovely to see him in his finest role of the peoples priest. So take twenty minutes out of your busy day and watch some of North Kerry's finest, together at the handing over of Sheehans Thatch Cottage. This video was produced and edited by Dylon Byer and Charles Nolan. #traditionalfestival#seanmccarthyweekend