Martin Hayes chats with Ger Sweeney

Martin Hayes has travelled the world with his fiddle. His performances and recordings expose his audiences to his personal interpretation of the traditional Irish music that has been handed down from generation to generation. Nights by the fire at home in East Clare as a boy listening to traditional music and playing with the Tulla Céilí Band as a teenager lit the flame of passion. We experience that passion every time we listen to Martin play, in whatever setting.

Recently, Martin and Ger Sweeney chatted for Ger’s Irish radio programme on Spain-based Talk Radio Europe. Here is that conversation.


Irish Ambassador to Spain talks to Ger Sweeney

A few days before St. Patrick’s Day Ger Sweeney visited the Irish Embassy in Madrid. Ambassador Frank Smyth took up his position in Madrid in September and Ger wanted to find out how it was all going. The conversation covered a lot of ground and it offers an insight into the work of the Embassy, the role of the Ambassador, his hopes for his tenure and we find out about the man behind the job.

Deanna Byrd of the Choctaw Nation on “That Donation to Ireland in 1847”

During the “great famine” as Irish people were dying of hunger and millions of people emigrated to the four corners of the world, assistance came from the Choctaw Nation.

For his Irish radio programme, Live on Eire, which is broadcast on Talk Radio Europe, Ger Sweeney spoke to Deanna Byrd of the Choctaw Nation about that donation and got an insight into the Choctaw people.

The interview commences with a song called “Choctaw Chant to the Sun”  which was written and sung by Co. Mayo native CallyAnna.



St. Patrick’s Day in Spain 2022

The Irish Embassy in Madrid has compiled a list of activities happening across Spain to mark St. Patrick’s Day The infromation is below along with details of where further information is available. To add to this please email and your event in Spain can be added here. Ger Sweeney will be promoting these events on his radio programme on Talk Radio Europe on 9th and 16th March. Having all of the information and contact details here in one place will allow him to direct traffic here rather than reading out endless contacts and web addresses that nobody will remember.





This year Iomramh Cultural Association and Irish in Barcelona present the 11th Kingspan Mediterranean Currach Regatta festival to celebrate St. Patrick´s Day, on Sunday 13 March. The race will kick off at 10h from Espigó de la Mar Bella (near Base Nàutica Municipal de Barcelona) and crews that row from the club in Barcelona will compete for the trophy with currach rowers coming from Ireland and the USA. Simultaneously (from 11h onwards), at CEM Mar Bella outdoor space, there will be Irish music, dance, Irish food & drink and plenty of fun for all the family. To view the full programme please click here

The Gran Central Hotel (main hall) will host Nancy Whiskey Irish Band with Gerardi & Anderson Dancers, on Thursday 17 March from 19-21h, and will be performing traditional tunes, Irish dancing and a Ceilí. Entrance is free and everyone is welcome. Celebrations will continue afterwards at The Cottage Irish pub and Gastro restaurant (booking required). On Friday 18 March the same group will play at The Wild Geese Irish Pub. And lastly, on Friday 25 at 22h, Delorgan Deeptap Dance Co. will offer a traditional musical titled “VIAJE A IRLANDA” EL MUSICAL CELTA, about the Irish Diaspora´s journey to America at the beginning of the century. It will be two hours of live music, Irish dance, history and acting. For more information on this please contact 932957900

On Saturday 19 March, the Escola Mediterránia de Dansa Irlandesa are putting on a show in the Centre Artesá Tradicionarius, at 17.30h. Following this there will be ceilidh dancing for everyone to enjoy. For more information on ticket sales please see their website.

The Irish-Basque Association LagunCara have put together a wide range of activities to celebrate St. Patrick´s Day this year. For information on all the events taking place, please consult their website.



La Rioja
The Centre of Irish Studies Banna/Bond EFACIS (European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies) of the Universidades de La Rioja, Burgos, Deusto y Zaragoza, will start their V International Seminar on St. Patrick’s Day (Irish Itinerary 2022): Gender Based Violence and The Art of Storytelling on St. Patrick’s Day 2022. For the full programme which will be open to students, teachers and general public in the Universidad de La Rioja please see here




The Embassy in Madrid was delighted to work with Track Dogs once again on a video clip especially for St. Patrick’s Day, which we will be tweeting (@IrlEmbMadrid) on the morning of the 17 March for you to enjoy! Stay tuned….

The Asociación Educativa Oscar Wilde has planned an open day to celebrate St. Patrick´s Day, on Wednesday 16 March from 18-21h, in the Universidad Popular, Avda Baunatal 18 (San Sebastián de los Reyes). You are invited along to tell your story on what links you to Ireland and there will also be some music to enjoy. Everyone is welcome.

Irish Treble, along with some special guests, will be celebrating St. Patrick´s Day with a concert in Sala Galileo Galilei, on Saturday 19 March at 21h. For more information on the event and ticket sales please see here

The Spanish Irish Business Network (SIBN), in collaboration Electrocor Las Rozas Club de Fútbol, are pleased to invite their members and friends to a festive day to celebrate St Patrick´s Day in style! The Madrid Harps GAA, ELC Special Skills and IncluIndus Rugby Social players will be participating with sports activities, together with musical performance by Sunday Cover Sunday and much more fun and games for all the family. It will take place on Saturday 19 March from 13:30h onwards, in Campo de Fútbol El Abajon, C. Comunidad de Andalucía, 53, Las Rozas. Please follow SIBN social media (FB @SpanishIrishBusinessNetwork, twitter @sibnes) for more information

In the Sierra de Guadarrama, the Parroquia de la Virgen del Carmen in Alpedrete will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day from 17-20 March, with a variety of events including a charity race, a market, a barbeque, a concert and many fun activities for kids. The church will be illuminated in green for the occasion. For more information please contact Juan by email

Madrid Hash House Harriers will have their annual St. Patrick´s Day Run on Sunday 20 March at 13h. More details can be found here

The annual St. Patrick´s Day Mass will be taking place in the church of ‘San Patricio‘ in Málaga (C. Abogado Federico Orellana Toledano, 2) on Thursday 17 March, at 11h. Everyone is welcome and you are encouraged to wear something green to celebrate the day

In Benalmádena (Plaza de la Mezquita) the Irish Association of Spain will be organising St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Thursday 17 March, starting with a mass in the Inmaculada Concepción church at 13h, followed by a parade and much more entertainment. Please check out the full programme here

Lorca will be joining the St. Patrick´s Day celebrations with lots of activities for all the family, from the 11-17 March. You can consult the full programme of events here




Other events of interest to note
Tourism Ireland is launching a distinctive new music festival as part of its global celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday 17 March. The Green Button Festival will connect anyone anywhere around the globe with some of Ireland’s best-loved and up-and-coming musicians.  Ireland is celebrating its legendary St Patrick’s Day festivities live and in-person for the first time in two years.  But for those who can’t be in Ireland personally, the Green Button Festival is an invitation to celebrate Irish heritage, Irish tradition, and Ireland’s national day in a new and exciting way. The unique festival can be viewed wherever you are on St Patrick’s Day, via

The Asociación Española de Estudios Irlandeses (AEDEI) will be launching issue 17 of their magazine to celebrate St. Patrick´s Day this year. It will be available at this link from Wednesday 16 March onwards. You may also wish to note that a new Centre for Irish Studies, Alka-Éire, has been founded in the Universidad de Alcalá.

You may also wish to follow the Irish Embassy on twitter (@IrlEmbMadrid) to keep fully up-to-date with all the activities.

Have Mic and Camera – Will Travel

The story of Colm Flynn from Ennis, Co. Clare. Colm and Ger Sweeney worked together for a few years in Clare FM and have remained friends as the years (and decades) passed. A chance comment one evening on Ger’s Irish radio programme on Spain’s Talk Radio Europe gave Ger the idea to contact Colm to find out how his globetrotting career is going as he reports for RTE, the BBC World Service, EWTN and others. Two auld pals having a chat which was broadcast.




The Irish Arts Council Turns 70

It was a very progressive step – the establishment of the Irish Arts Council in 1951. The first meeting took place in January 1952 so in January of this year the 70th anniversary of that meeting was marked. The current Director of the Arts Council, Maureen Kennelly, spoke to Ger Sweeney recently for his Irish radio programme on Spanish radio station Talk Radio Europe.



Acclaimed Irish Author James Lawless

Acclaimed Irish author James Lawless spoke to Ger Sweeney about his works. The conversation was broadcast on Ger’s weekly Irish radio programme that is broadcast on Talk Radio Europe. It was appropriate that the conversation started with a focus on the Spanish element of many of James’ novels – including one that has yet to be released.

Ulysses at 100

The world will be marking the 100th anniversary of the publication of James Joyces’ Ulysses for the remainder of the year but on the anniversary Ger Sweeney spoke to Joycean Roger Cummiskey. Roger has been contributing to Ger’s Irish radio programme on Spain-based Talk Radio Europe for a number of years now and he gave a concise overview of the book and its author when they spoke.

Ger started the conversation by asking Roger if Ulysses is indeed one of the most important novels ever written…..

The Feast of St. Brigid – But who is she?

The 1st of February is St. Brigid’s Day and in Ireland we have recognised it as the feast day of our “other” patron saint. St. Brigid is the female patron saint of Ireland. We learned this going to school and we even made our St. Brigid’s crosses to mark it. Our female patron saint has never been celebrated like our male patron – St. Patrick, but next year that is going to change.

The Irish government has decided that an additional public holiday is required and has decreed that we should, from 2023, CELEBRATE our female patron saint – St. Brigid. We will, no doubt oblidge and celebrate her with gusto. So, who is St. Brigid? What’s her story? Well, Patricia Trainor has the answers and was happy to share them with Ger Sweeney on his Irish radio programme on Spain-based Talk Radio Europe recently. Listen to it here.

The Old Irish Goat

The Old Irish Goat is Ireland’s indigenous breed and is now critically endangered. Found only in remote mountain ranges roaming in feral herds there is a need to protect it. A campaign is now under way by the Old Irish Goat Society, based in Mulranny, Co. Mayo, to give legal protection to the Old Irish Goat. Paraic Browne from the Society spoke to Ger Sweeney recently for Ger’s weekly Irish radio programme on Spain-based Talk Radio Europe. The pieces offers details of the campaign and how we can help.