IRISH TV is delighted to launch a new four-part series celebrating the magnificent playing and unrivalled mastery of Sligo’s renowned fiddlers.

Sligo Style showcases the breathtaking musicianship, skill and virtuosity of four of Sligo’s finest traditional musicians – Declan Folan, Phillip Duffy, Oisin MacDiarmada and Seamie O’Dowd – as they give Waterboys fiddler, Steve Wickham, a master class in the subtleties and unique beauty of the Sligo Style of traditional fiddle playing.


The Sligo Style of fiddling is renowned in traditional music circles and represents a unique cultural phenomenon which was exported to the US by a handful of local men, whose subsequent recordings were to have an enduring legacy in the way the fiddle has been played since.

The recordings by Michael Coleman, Paddy Killoran and James Morrisson in the 1920’s and 30’s are considered to have saved traditional Irish music at a time when it was on the verge of extinction.

These gifted musicians soaked up the wealth of knowledge and love of traditional music in their home-places and pioneered virtuoso solo playing of the instrument using melody, rhythm and intricate ornamentation.

This music served as a centre-piece for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann when it was held in Sligo in 2014 and 2015 as a result of which interest in and appreciation of the genre grew. Musicians travelled from all over the Globe and from every corner of Ireland to gain exposure to the essence of the Sligo Style in the home of its premier exponents.

Produced as a series of fiddle master-classes by the Creative team of Ocean Media, a subsidiary of Ocean FM, with funding from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the Sligo Style series is the result of a local broadcasting partnership between Ocean FM’s visual media unit, Films 4U, and IRISH TV, Ireland’s first international TV station.

Ocean FM presenter Niall Delaney was cleared by the broadcasting authority.

Niall Delaney, CEO of Ocean FM explained: “We are lucky to have had the talented Steve Wickham and the foremost exponents of Sligo Style fiddle available to take part in the series. These are the acknowledged Sligo fiddle masters of their generation and their talent, virtuosity and passion for this music lift the series beyond a simple teaching tool. We look forward to viewers from Ireland the UK and across America witnessing this showcase of our unique heritage on the IRISH TV platform.”

CEO IRISH TV Pierce O’Reilly said they were delighted with the extremely high standard of the production and said he looked forward to continuing the strong relationship with Ocean, which also produces the extremely popular Sligo County Matters hosted by Claire Ronan each week for IRISH TV.


“As we bring our content onto Saorview and begin to broadcast into the States, it is great for us to have a trusted regional partner like Ocean that understands the unique provenance and heritage of Irish culture like the Sligo style of fiddling and whom we can rely upon to bring these stories to the world with the best production quality available”, he said.

CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), Michael O’Keefe, added that the partnership between IRISH TV and Ocean showed a forward thinking collaboration that would mark the future of media growth in the coming years.

Noting that the application by a radio station to create a four part documentary series for TV was a first in the history of the BAI fund, he said he hoped it would not be the last and commended all involved in the production of a series of true importance to the heritage of the State.

The series was completed in its entirety by local talent from the Ocean Media team and shot in the Clarion Hotel’s stunning Canis Major Church against the backdrop of the Fleadh Ceol.

Director and lead camera operator was Ciaran Carty with editor Jacek Pinas, sound operator, Ray Duffy, lighting, Cormac Carol and a talented team of local camera operators.


Sligo Style starts Friday November 4th at 8pm-8.30pm, with a repeat broadcast on Saturdays at 11pm. The series is in four parts. 


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