Each year, the beautiful village of Ballintogher plays host to the John Egan Traditional Music Festival and also a feis.
The feis is held towards the end of October and the music festival at the beginning of November.
The feis is held to give young musicians, singers, dancers and aspiring artists, the chance to compete for tophies and medals.
The festival is the time to enjoy the music and song from the best of traditional artists. To participate in workshops and attend concerts and music sessions throughout the village.
For accommodation and further details click on the Festival link above
Flute player (1903 – 1989)
John Egan was born in 1903 in Ardleybeg, Ballintogher, Co. Sligo. John had 4 brothers and 3 sisters. His mother was Ann Callaghan from Coolbock, Riverstown, Co. Sligo.
He started playing the flute at home at a young age. John and his brothers were involved in the local Fife and Drum Band in nearby Sooey. Young people and musicians would congregate in neighbour’s houses a few nights each week, where music would be played, songs would be sung , sets, schottisches, barn dances and the occasional waltz, would be danced.
John spent much of his young days in Callaghans, Coolbock. He learned his first tunes from Andy and James Doyle (Father and Son), flute players from Lackagh, Drumfin, Co. Sligo. At that time he also met and played with flute players Brian Luby and John Joe Gardiner, Corhubber Ballymote. This was where John acquired his initial store of music. He also learned to play the fiddle.
He left Sligo in his early 20’s, to work on the railway in Donegal and London. He married Mary Reynolds from Donegal. They had 7 children, 5 girls and 2 boys. He returned to Dublin in 1937 where he worked in Murphy’s pub. He joined The Pipers Club in Dublin and there he met and played with Kathleen Harrington, Pat O’Brien, John Brennan, Bill Davis and John Stenson from Sligo. Also Tom and Joe Liddy, Tim and John Mulligan from Leitrim. He was a member of the Kincora Band. This group produced an LP with rare recordings in the Sligo – Leitrim style of music. On this LP, there is a mix of the Kincora Ceili Band, the Gardiner Trio and the Belhavil Trio. In 1952 John and other musical friends established the St. Mary’s Traditional Music Club, Church St. The Club moved to various venues in Dublin over the years. Up to 100 musicians singers and dancers attended. The sessions continued up until the time of John’s death on the 10th January, 1989.