The origins of traditional Irish music group, Inis Oirr date back to 2002. Formed by Mick Giblin, a guitar player from Galway, Ireland and Ged Palmer, a fiddle player from Liverpool, England, the group was joined in 2004 by Fiodhna Gardiner and Padraig Hyland, from counties Tipperary and Mayo, Ireland. They added whistles, keyboard and guitar to the line-up. In October 2007, Marianne Campbell, a fiddler from Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, joined Inis Oirr. Finally in October 2008, St John Kelliher, from Kerry, Ireland joined as percussionist on bodhran, bones and spoons to complete Inis Oirr.
The band consists of individually accomplished musicians who have brought to the group, their own repertoires and styles that have been molded together to form the uniqueness of Inis Oirr – the UAE’s only traditional Irish music group.
Inis Oirr’s Music
Sensitive to the traditions of our respective cultures, our music is lively, entertaining and accessible, ranging from foot-tapping jigs and ‘birlin’ reels, haunting slow airs and sentimental waltzes, stirring highland marches and strathspeys to lively slides and barnstorming polkas. Our interpretation of traditional songs and ballads brings humour, presence and fun to our stage performances and allows our audience to catch their breath ‘between the jigs and the reels’.
Naming the Band
Our name, ‘Inis Oirr’ (pronounced ‘Inisheer’), means ‘Island to the East’ in Irish. It is the name of one of the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland that is noted for its rich Irish culture and traditions. Living and working here on the island of Abu Dhabi in the Middle East, we felt that the name was quite apt!