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Miltown Malbay takes its name from neighbouring Mal Bay, said to link this part of the coast with Mal, the witch or fairy woman who pursued Cú Chulainn at Loop Head. Drowned in an attempt to emulate the hero’s long jump prowess, her body was washed ashore at Malbay.
For many years Miltown Malbay has been synonymous with traditional Irish music. Some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians and singers have lived in the area. Willie Clancy, Junior Crehan, Scully and Bobby Casey, Martin Talty, Jimmy Ward and Ollie Conway were all natives of the area and are household names throughout the world of folk music and song. This wealth of history has attracted many more musicians to settle in Miltown, ensuring great music sessions all year round.
July is marked annually by Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, a week-long summer school that celebrates our traditional music, dance and song. The master classes and concerts of the school attract the most accomplished traditional artistes from all parts of the world, with a cosmopolitan mix spilling out into the streets and pubs of the town.