About ICTM Ireland

The International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) is a UNESCO NGO (non governmental organisation), and is one of the largest and most international, organisations for the study of traditional music and dance in culture. Its aims are "to further the study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of traditional music, including folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance of all countries."

ICTM International was founded on 22 September, 1947, in London, England, by scholars and musicians as The International Folk Music Council. Ralph Vaughan Williams became its first president, followed by Jaap Kunst, Zoltan Kodaly, Willard Rhodes, Klaus P. Wachsmann, Poul Rovsing Olsen, Erich Stockmann, Anthony Seeger, Krister Malm, and currently, Adrienne L. Kaeppler. In 1949, the Council was one of the Founding Members of the International Music Council: UNESCO, and is currently an NGO in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO. Through its wide international representation the Council acts as a bond among peoples of different cultures and thus serves the peace of humankind. www.ictmusic.org

The Irish National Committee of ICTM is one of thirty-three National Committees of ICTM. As such, ICTM (Ireland) brings a local focus to the activities of ICTM and provides a regional forum for scholars of diverse musical traditions. While Irish traditional music is at the very core of ICTM (Ireland) the range of music played, studied, and researched on the island of Ireland and by Irish people abroad has a particular relevance for the organisation.

The specific aims of ICTM (Ireland) are to support the scholarly study, practice, documentation, preservation and dissemination of musical expression in Ireland, alongside but independently of, academic institutions. Providing local activities, research networks and support groups, ICTM (Ireland) encourages excellence in the work of its members. From its initial focus on discourse on Irish traditional music, the conferences of ICTM (Ireland) have grown to encompass musical expressions found throughout Ireland and the world, thus providing a much-needed local forum for the recently burgeoning ethnomusicological research culture on the island. The scope of the Society's activities is intended to reflect the interests of all its members, including ethnomusicologists, folklorists, performers, music enthusiasts, and the traditional music community at large.

ICTM (Ireland) is composed of scholars, students, performers, publishers, museum specialists, and librarians from numerous disciplines. Some of these disciplines include anthropology, musicology, cultural studies, acoustics, popular music studies, music education, folklore, composition, archiving, and the performing arts. ICTM (Ireland) undertakes to involve all these professions in its work, but anybody with an interest in the scholarly study of music is welcome and encouraged to join.

The functions of ICTM Ireland include:

  • (a) the holding of conferences and colloquia in Ireland;
  • (b) publications;
  • (c) forming of national sub-committees and study groups;
  • (d) issuing of audio-visual materials
  • (e) encouraging national and international archives for all types of music and dance in Ireland, including traditional, folk, popular, classical and urban music, and dance
  • (f) facilitating the exchange of information in any form pertaining to all types of music and dance in Ireland, including electronic files, films, recordings and publications
  • (g) supporting the organisation of festivals of performing arts in Ireland
  • (h) cooperating with broadcasting organizations.

Since its inception in 2005, ICTM Ireland has held conferences annually:

  • "Ethnomusicology in the Digital Age" Belfast (2013)
  • "Movement and Music" Dublin (2012)
  • "Listening" University of Ulster, Magee Campus, Derry/Londonderry (2011)
  • "Ensemble: Playing Together" Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick (2010)
  • "Recording" and a Tribute to Hugh Shields, UCD School of Music (2009).
  • "Fieldwork" and a Tribute to Tom Munnelly, Institute of Technology, Tralee (2008)
  • "Irish Music and Dance in History", University College Cork (2007)
  • "National Ethnomusicologies", University of Limerick (2006)

Current Committee Members

Dr. Daithí Kearney



Ethnomusicologist, geographer and performer Dr Daithí Kearney is a graduate of University College Cork and the current Programme Director of the BA (Hons) Applied Music degree at DkIT. His PhD concentrates on the construction of geographies and regional identities in Irish traditional music and current research extends to include performance studies, community music, music education and the connection between music and place.

Daithí has toured regularly as a musician, singer and dancer with a number of groups including Siamsa Tíre, The National Folk Theatre of Ireland and was Artistic Director of the The Cork International Folk Dance Festival 2005. An All-Ireland champion musician, he has recorded with a number of ensembles including the band Nuada and performed for President Obama in The White House in 2009. In 2012 he released an album with Cork accordion player John Cronin entitled Midleton Rare, which is related to a wider research project on the music and musicians of the Sliabh Luachra region. He continues to tour regularly including at the National Folk Festival of Australia (2013) and with members of the DkIT Ceol Oirghialla Traditional Ensemble in USA and Brazil (2014).

Recent publications include contributions to the Companion to Irish Traditional Music (ed. Vallely, 2012), Ancestral Imprints *(ed. Smith, 2012), the *Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (ed. White and Boydell, 2013) and* Spacing Ireland* (Crowley and Linehan, 2013).



Dr. Aoife Granville


Aoife is a flute player, fiddle player and singer from Dingle. She is currently employed as Teaching Fellow in Music at the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University where she lectures in Ethnomusicology, Folk & Traditional Music, Popular Music Studies as well as leading performance classes. Her doctoral thesis, completed at University College Cork in 2012 was entitled "We never died a winter yet" - The Sráid Eoin Wrenboys of Dingle: Music, Community and Identity and Aoife's research interests remain in festival/carnival traditions, Irish traditional music and song as well as popular music culture. Her second solo album 'Sáimhín Só' was released in 2014 and has firmly grounded her as one of the finest contemporary flute players in the Irish scene today. She was Technical Manager of ICTM Ireland's Fieldwork CD and publishes both in English and Irish.


Michelle Finnerty


Michelle is a Lecturer in Music (University College Cork) and programme coordinator of the Early Start Program in Irish Traditional Music. Her research interests include Irish traditional music, music in education, early year’s arts education, music in community contexts and teaching and learning in higher education. In 2010, Michelle was awarded a prestigious doctoral scholarship from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. As part of this work, Michelle has been examining children’s perspectives on their musical worlds and culture lives in Ireland. The study is co-supervised by Dr Mel Mercier, University College Cork and Dr John O’Flynn, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. The research findings will be presented in the context of the National Children’s Strategy and the role of music and culture for children in this context. In addition to performing music in many contexts, Michelle is also involved in the research and development of community projects in education and health care contexts. As part of this research, she has developed the Connections project (2007-Present) which is an arts and health project based in local community health care settings in Cork. She has received numerous research funding for her work in this area from a range of national and local funding bodies including the Arts Council, HSE Arts and Health and Cork City Council Community Context Awards. Michelle has overseen a diverse range of music education research projects funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, HSE, Cork Arts and Health, St Patrick’s
College Drumcondra, Cork City Council and Music Generation Cork City. In 2012, she was research advisor and partner to the recently published Tiny Voice.

Michelle has received many awards for her research. In 2005, she was awarded the Ireland Canada Foundation Riverdance Award. In 2009, she received a Bursary Award from the Arts Council for her research on the role and development of music in local community settings in Cork. Michelle has graduated from UCC with a BMus (2005), MPhil (2008) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2009). Her PhD is due for completion in 2015.

Recent publications include: Finnerty, Michelle (2014) ‘Making Connections: the use of ethnographic fieldwork to facilitate a model of Integrative Learning’ In: Integrative Learning: International Research and Practice. UK: Routledge; Finnerty, Michelle (2012) Book Review of Adam Kaul, Turning the Tune: Traditional Music, Tourism, and Social Change in an Irish Village in Ethnomusicology Forum (2012) and contributions to the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (ed. White and Boydell,(2013).



Sheryl Lynch

Education Officer


Sheryl’s research interests include the music of North West Cameroon and musical identities in the diasporic context. In 2009, Sheryl co-edited The Musicology Review, the only postgraduate journal dedicated to musicology in Ireland. She currently tutors in UCD and is a part-time ethnomusicology lecturer in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.
In addition to teaching music in a community youth project, Sheryl continues to work as a performer and has played the clarinet in a variety of musical groups including the UCD Symphony Orchestra, Engine Room Orchestra and the new music ensemble, NODE.
Sheryl drums with the Afro-Caribbean Society and is currently studying for the PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jaime Jones.


Michael Hackett

Membership Officer


From Dublin, singer and bodhrán player Michael Hackett is a 2010 graduate of the Irish World Academy’s BA in Irish Traditional Music and Dance. In 2011, under the supervision of Colin Quigley PhD Michael completed his MA in ethnomusicology,  his MA thesis titled, “Singing Our Place: Local Songs and the Performance of Place in Irish Balladry” which focuses on the phenomenon of the social singing session common in Ireland. The thesis investigates the processes by which local cultural identities are created and performed by singers and songmakers who regularly engage in the activity of social singing.

Michael has taught Singing and Bodhrán at the Irish world Academy and lectures on social singing he has appeared on Irish Television and Radio. He is a regular performer at signing festivals in Ireland, Europe and the US. Michael recently embarked upon preliminary PhD research into the cultural, historical, geographical and social significance of community sports songs; locally composed songs which celebrate and commemorate the successes of  local parish and county teams who regularly compete in the indigenous Irish sports of Hurling, Gaelic Football and Handball.


Dr. Ray Casserly

Communications Officer


Ray Casserly is Resident Director of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) study abroad programs at Queen's University, Belfast (QUB). Ray currently directs and lectures on the Society, Conflict, and Peace semester program based within the Institute of Irish Studies at QUB.


Latest News

Conference & Events


Why become a
member of ICTM

Join Now

Contact ICTM Ireland

Dr Daithí Kearney, Chair
c/o The Section of Music
Dundalk Institute of Technology