"Comfortable Atmosphere with great Food, Music and Drink"


Gatehouse – Friday 15th November

On Friday 15th November The Pillar House in Ballinasloe welcomes 5* Trad group – Gatehouse. Having just released their 2nd album “Heather down the Moor”, which is performing very well and getting some great reviews Gatehouse are touring Ireland with it.
Gaining inspiration from the rich history and beautiful hinterland of Lough Key Forest Park, the band Gatehouse has been called after the ‘Tiara’ gate lodge, situated at the entrance to the decided Rockingham Estate near Boyle, Co. Roscommon. They are a relatively new, Irish traditional group boasting an exciting line up of experienced traditional musicians including singer Rachel Garvey, Jacinta McEvoy on guitar and concertina, John McEvoy on fiddle and mandolin and John Wynne on flutes and whistles.

The two Johns go back a long way and with Jacinta McEvoy performed for many years as a trio. However, they were keen to develop their sound and move things forward while at the same time remaining true to the tradition. The trio were delighted when Rachel Garvey, one of the finest interpreters of traditional songs, agreed to join and so Gatehouse was born. Although the focus initially was on the music of North Connaught, Gatehouse are constantly expanding their repertoire with new songs and compositions, along with a sprinkling of other influences wrapped in sensitive and tasteful innovation.

Following the release of their highly acclaimed debut album, Tús Nua in 2016, the band has gone from strength to strength, performing at venues and festivals in Ireland, Denmark, Norway and the UK as well as on live TV. Encouraged by this success they have released their second CD ‘Heather Down the Moor’. On Heather Down the Moor they present more intricate arrangements and have developed their sound with the help John Joe Kelly on Bodhrán, Alan Kelly on Piano Accordion, Michael McCague on Bouzouki and Conor & Paddy McEvoy on Fiddle & Piano. “Heather down the Moor” was co-produced with Dónal O’Connor.

“We are excited about introducing new listeners to traditional music and song and hope you enjoy our unique approach to blending the old with the new”, says band member John Wynne.

Certainly, Ballinasloe will be definitely enriched for having this band perform in town and there is no finer venue than The Pillar House’s intimate setting to enjoy this not to be missed gig.

Michelle Lally Comes Home to Ballinasloe

Michelle Lally is coming home to Ballinasloe ! Now based in Galway she is embarking on a brand new solo career having worked as the lead singer with legendary Irish Traditional Group “DeDannan”.
During this time she recorded 3 albums as well as collaborating with Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones.
Michelle has toured the US extensively with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of the “Women Of Ireland”. As well as playing in the Beijing Opera house to a tv audience of 500 million people, Michelle also performed for president Barack Obama and Irish dignitaries in the White House
Michelle’s new album “A Moment In Time” sees her embark on on a solo career singing original songs written by David Lyons. Her style is an easy listening jazz cross-over sound and her recently released singles have all made it to the RTE radio 1 playlist as well as being played on local and overseas radio stations.
The album has been described as a “melodic nod to the jazz songs of days gone by. Michelle’s musical influences, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Doris Day come through in her sultry renditions of these beautifully written songs”.

Friday 25th October, 2019 9pm. Tickets: €15.00 plus €1 booking fee for on-line bookings.

Don Baker “Up Close & Personal”

Friday 12th July at 9pm

The Pillar  House gets to host another of Ireland’s music legends that is Don Baker on Friday 12th July at 9pm.  Our intimate venue will provide the perfect stage for this maestro of blues.

Born and bred in Dublin, Don Baker first learnt to play harmonica as a young lad in hospital recovering from a bout of TB. While convalescing, unable to go out like the other boys of his age, he immersed himself in The Blues and most especially Blues Harmonica listening to the recordings Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf.

Fifty years on and Don is still immersed, still listening, still performing to the songs of Blues legends and adding to the Blues canon with songs and compositions of his own as he developed his talent from musician to gifted songwriter in his own right. Indeed his songs have been recorded by scores of other artists including Sinead O’Connor, Charlie McCoy, Finbar Furey, Declan O’Rourke and LiamO’Maonlaoi. He has released fifteen albums and shared stages with Tom Jones, Sinead O’Connor and Van Morrison.

Tickets are €20 now On Sale at www.thepillarhouse.ie/buy-tickets-online


It’s a Long Long Way From Santa Fe to Here !

Gerry Carthy, Thursday 20th June

We are delighted to announce that Gerry Carthy will perform in The Pillar House on Thursday 20th June as part of his Irish Summer Tour

Now based in Santa Fe with his son Michael, Gerry Carthy was born in Castlebar, County Mayo. While he learned to play whistle in the fife and drum band at his childhoodschool, his father’s fiddle playing also surely had an influence on the young Carthy. When he was eighteen years old, Carthy took the boat to England like so many other young Irishmen who had to emigrate to find work. He worked on construction and in a steel factory during the two years he spent in England. The plight of the exile is a common theme in Irish music.

It was during these years in England that Carthy developed a keen interest in his own traditional music and literature. In 1969, after three months in London he moved to the West Country and lived in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire where, playing whistle and mandolin, he formed a folk music trio and got involved in the local folk clubs which were thriving then, like the coffee houses in America.

But the West of Ireland and its ‘Celtic Twilight’ atmosphere was always calling and before long he moved back to Mayo for a year, now taking up the tenor banjo. The following year, 1973, he enrolled at University College Galway, 50 miles south of his home town. For the next ten years Carthy lived in Galway City and played in traditional Irish sessions around the town. Galway is where he truly learned his trade. In the seventies there was a wealth of music in Galway since there were so many native traditional musicians. His musical mentors and friends in Galway were the unknown characters who were the life and soul of the music scene in the seventies – Peter Galligan, Mickey Finn, Sean Tyrell, Jim Dillon, Jackie Small, Henry Higgins, Noel Sherlock, Seany Francis, Kevin Garvey, Johnny Keaney, Pat Broderick, Donal Staunton, Pat Broderick, Pat Conneely, Charlie Harris, Sean O’Conaire, Tommy Nolan, who was the resident fiddle player at O’Malley’s Bar where the Sunday morning sessions took place, and the older traditional players Eddie Maloney, Jimmy Cummins, Lar Kelly and Vincent Keegan who frequented Mrs. Cullens Bar, the pub for ‘trad’ in those days. During the summer months Carthy and a friend from Castlebar, Brendan Fahy, a singer and guitar player roamed around continental Europe playing on the streets and in the cafes.

In 1981 Carthy spent 10 months in America mainly in New York City where he played at Gurdy’s Folk City on a St. Patrick’s Day gig opening for a band called Touchstone – a band who mixed Irish and American music well. This time too he was with a guitarist/singer, Archie Meaney from Ennis Co. Clare. But before long it was back to Ireland once more. He found himself in Academia again, this time taking a teacher’s diploma at U.C.G. in Galway. Again the road called and an old dream of Carthy’s urged him back to America. That dream was to work his way from New York to San Francisco and see America with ‘Jack Kerouac’ eyes! On the way or rather on the road Gerry was directed through Santa Fe. August 2016 marked 30 years in the Southwest. He makes his living playing Irish Traditional music. He also played the banjo in a traditional Dixieland Jazz Band, The Red Hot Chiles for 10 years. In the early nineties he was selected as an Artist in Residence in New Mexico for Traditional Irish Music. Carthy has also been a long-standing member of the faculty in the Contemporary Music Department at the College of Santa Fe where he taught a Celtic Ensemble class.

Carthy plays the music on a variety of instruments. His repertoire includes the Folk Music of Northern New Mexico and American tunes and ballads. He touches on different strains of Irish music. The traditional dance tunes – jigs, reels, hornpipes, polkas and he has a particular fondness for slow airs; the old ballads brought to life first by the Clancy Brothers in Greenwich Village in the sixties; the modern folk influence which started in Ireland with groups like Sweeney’s Men, The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland and the electric folk band Steeleye Span who were based in England. From the Ceili Bands of the fifties to the polish of today’s greatest exponents of traditional Irish music, The Chieftains, Carthy knows what he is doing. Added to this, his appreciation and sensitive interpretation of the music of the old travelling harpers of Ireland make Carthy’s show an experience not to be missed!

Pole Performance

The Pillar House welcomes Pole Performance, Friday 26th April 2019

The west of Ireland’s first all pole dancing show was created in 2016 by Racheal Palmer who set out to give aspiring pole dancers an opportunity to perform in the public eye to develop and grow their stage presence.

Pole Performance was created to show the versatile side to pole dancing portraying an artistic and theatrical performance art inspired by various performing arts such as ballet – contemporary – dance – cirque as well as keeping with the original roots of pole dancing. We welcome all genders of pole dancers – to show the public that pole dancing is much more than the stereotype that people associate pole dance with a mix of genders we are breaking down the barrier and stigma that currently exists around pole dancing.

Our performers are a mix of professional dancers and growing artists who are passionate about pole dancing and bring their own style to the stage. Some have even worked and performed at Electric Picnic! Pole Performance supports the local arts and we invite special guest performers such as musicians and burlesque dancers who are also members of the pole community adding of touch of their creative energy bringing diversity to our audience. Pole Performance was created to bring some fun entertainment for the audience – with a variety of acts from – sport – sexy – sassy – badassy – classy – theatrical and contemporary – group and solo performances.

Cork Balladeer Jimmy Crowley – 5th April

One of the most influential figures on the Irish Folk Scene, Jimmy Crowley will perform at The Pillar House on Friday 5th April at 9pm

The Tumble Down Shack in Athlone

Jimmy Crowley has been a central figure in the Irish folk scene since the enthusiastic reception of his debut album The Boys of Fairhill in 1977. With his band Stokers Lodge their mission was to present the street ballads of Cork city complimented by the ornate folk songs of the rural hinterland of Cork and Kerry in an exciting orchestration of uilleann pipes, concertina, autoharp, harmonium, mandolin, bouzouki and guitar in their native accent. The second album, Camphouse Ballads hurtled the band into the vortex of the folk scene; they were now performing at folk festivals and making tv appearances in Ireland, Britain and America .Both albums were produced by Micheál Ó Dómhnaill of the Bothy Band. Like Chris Twomey of Stokers Lodge, Micheál was a seminal influence in Jimmy’s musical education.

Gráinne Hunt in The Pillar House

We are delighted to welcome the amazing Gráinne Hunt to The Pillar House on Friday 29th March 2019

Grainne Hunt is a contemporary folk singer and songwriter from Monaghan. With consistently on-point, captivating vocals and well-honed, insightful songs, Grainne has shared stages with Glen Hansard and Mark Geary and has been compared to vocal icons Tracy Chapman and Nathalie Merchant.
Having just returned from Nashville, with a new record, ‘This Secret’, in her pocket, Grainne is working towards it’s release in mid 2019. Recorded with Thomm Jutz (Nanci Griffith, Maura O’Connell) and featuring the skills of Mark Fain (Ry Cooder) on bass and Lynn Williams (John Hiatt) on drums, it is already gaining attention in the US.
Early 2019 will also see the release of an Irish folk album, Songs from Ireland, recorded with award winning guitarist Brendan Walsh. Recorded earlier this year in Soundville Studios Luzern, including songs Buachaill on Eirne and Raglan Road,

Farmers & Farmerettes Country Night Out

A great night promised for Saturday 16th February. Country Music night with DJ John Finnerty for all you busy Farmers & Farmerettes and friends.

The Pillar House Celebrates 60 Years

It’s with great pride that we celebrate 60 years since Godfrey & Evelyn Gibbons bought The Pillar House and opened in September 1958. In that time there’s been many changes both inside and outside the building but the Gibbons ownership has remained constant.

To celebrate we would like to invite you to a night of Celebration, we hope that we will have lots of current and previous customers and staff to celebrate with us on Saturday 10th November from 9pm.

Dónal Clancy – Friday 13th July

Dónal Clancy is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest guitarists. He is the son of the world renowned singer Liam Clancy of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and has since the death of his father focused his attention on the family repertoire of songs that he grew up with, while keeping the Clancy tradition alive with his solo performances.