When Jesus Saw the Crowds...

We are delighted to be able to welcome you to the Irish Church Music Association’s 53rd Annual Summer School – the first in-person Summer School since 2019.  Our theme this year is When Jesus Saw the Crowds. This year, we will gather for two days, Thursday 14th July and Friday 15th July.  We have a very busy timetable for the two days and hope that you will appreciate how much is on offer over such a short period of time.  

On Thursday, we will honour the work of Mr Ronan McDonagh and Dr John O’Keeffee.  Both men received the Knighthood of St Gregory in honour of the work in Church Music in Ireland.  Both Ronan and John will offer inputs throughout the day culminating in a celebration of their music at the end of the day.  Our focus for day one is the Gospel story of the loaves and fish.  The Eucharist on day one will be celebrated by Fr Pat O’Donoghue and will be As Gaeilge, and introduce us to the Irish Mass setting by Ronan. 

Day two will have six inputs, three from Sr Moira Bergin & Ms Regina Deasy, and three from Ms Karen O’Donovan and Mr Ciaran Coll.  All of these inputs will focus on the Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles.  Over the two days, we will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mr Fintan O’Carroll.  Each day will begin at 10am and run until 9pm.  It is possible to book for just one day and details of cost is on the Booking Form. 

We hope that there is something for you all during the Summer School and look forward to seeing you there.



Thursday 14th July 2022

10:00-10:45 Input Session 1 (Welcome and short prayer)

10:45-11:15 Tea/Coffee

11:15-12:00 Input Session 2 (John O’Keeffee & Ronan McDonagh)

12:15-13:00 Input Session 3 (John O’Keeffee & Ronan McDonagh)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:45 Input Session 4 (John O’Keeffee & Ronan McDonagh)

15:00-15:45 Input Session 5 (John O’Keeffee & Ronan McDonagh)

16:00-16:45 Recap Session

17:00-18:00 Eucharist

18:00-19:00 Tea

18:30 Registration for Evening Workshops

19:00-19:45 Evening Workshop Session 1 (John & Ronan)

19:45-20:00 Tea/Coffee

20:00-20:45 Evening Workshop Session 2  (John & Ronan)

20:45 Short Closing Liturgy

Friday 15th July 2022

10:00-10:45 Input Session 1 (Welcome and short prayer)

10:45-11:15 Tea/Coffee

11:15-12:00 Input Session 2 (Ciaran Coll & Karen O’Donovan)

12:15-13:00 Input Session 3 (Regina Deacy & Sr Moira Bergin)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:45 Input Session 4 (Ciaran Coll & Karen O’Donovan)

15:00-15:45 Input Session 5 (Regina Deacy & Sr Moira Bergin)

16:00-16:45 Recap Session

17:00-18:00 Eucharist

18:00-19:00 Tea

18:30 Registration for Evening Workshops

19:00-19:45 Evening Workshop Session 1 (Ciaran & KAren)

19:45-20:00 Tea/Coffee

20:00-20:45 Evening Workshop Session 2  (Regina & Sr Moira)

20:45 Short Closing Liturgy

Friday 16th July 2022

10:00 Closing Morning Prayer


Sr Moira Bergin

Sister Moira Bergin rsm, is a member of the Council for Liturgy, the Liturgy Association of Ireland, secretary to the Bishops Advisory Committee on Church Music, company secretary to the Irish Church Music Association and worked with the National Centre for Liturgy until 2021. 


Ciaran Coll

Originally from Donegal, Ciaran is a Secondary School teacher of Religion and Music in St. Mary’s Holy Faith, Glasnevin, Dublin. He is a graduate of Theology and Philosophy from All Hallows College, DCU & Education from Trinity College Dublin. He is the former Director of the Our Lady of Victories Gospel Choir also in Dublin. He has led the New Generation Youth Choir at Summer School and was a presenter at the Religious Education Congress in Mater Dei. Over the past few years he has begun composing Liturgical Music.

Regina Deacy

Regina Deacy is organist and director of sacred music in St Muredach’s Cathedral and in Killala Diocese.  A graduate of UCC with a Bachelor of arts and Bachelor of music, she also received a diploma in Church Music and Liturgy from NUI Maynooth and from there completed a research Masters Degree in Sacred Music under Professor Gerard Gillen. She is an Associate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music in piano teaching. 

Regina is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Church Music to the Bishops. Regina balances a busy work schedule between parish and school, teaching music full- time in St Mary’s Secondary School Ballina where she also directs the school choir for school liturgies and concerts as well as directing an annual school musical. She directs St Muredach’s Cathedral choir, trains cantors and organists in the parish and has conducted several workshops on sacred music in the diocese. Regina directed St Muredach’s Cathedral Choir in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and also in Westminster Cathedral in London where they performed at Masses. She also directed a massed choir at The Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 2012 and also in the RDS, Dublin at the World Meeting of Families in 2018. She has also been organ tutor at the Irish Church Music Association Summer School in Maynooth since 2003.

Ronan McDonagh

Ronan is a native of Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo. At an early age he became immersed in traditional Irish music, winning All-Ireland titles at Fleadh Ceoil na hÉireann and Slógadh. His organ studies began at the Schola Cantorum, St Finian’s College, Mullingar, and continued with Professor Gerard Gillen at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral. He has obtained a BMus degree from UCD, a Masters Degree in the Performance and Interpretation of Organ Music from NUI Maynooth, and holds the Performance Licentiate of Trinity College, London. In the past he has taught liturgical music composition at the Pontifical University, Maynooth.

Since 1990, Ronan has held the full time position of Organist and Director of Music at St Teresa’s Church, Clarendon Street, Dublin. Shortly after taking up this post, Ronan and the Carmelite Community founded St Teresa’s Choir, a choir which has since become one of the most respected in the city. In recent years Ronan has become widely known as a composer of liturgical music. Many of his compositions have been published in Ireland and in the United States.

Fuaimlaoi was formed by Ronan in 2006 to promote and develop liturgical music that grows out of our native tradition. It comprises a dynamic group of talented and committed singers and instrumentalists who have a keen interest in both liturgical music and Irish culture. With Fuaimlaoi, Ronan has released two collections of his liturgical compositions:- Ancient Promise (2010) and At The End Of The Sky (2021). Awarded a Papal Knighthood by the Holy See for services to church music, Ronan was invested into the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great (KSG) in 2021.

Karen O’Donovan

Originally from West Cork, Karen is a Deputy Principal in Rosmini Community School, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.  She graduated with a B.A. in Theology and a Masters in Theology (Specialising in Liturgy) from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  Currently, Karen is a member of Ronan McDonagh’s choir Fuaimlaoi and Cantando under the direction of Orla Barry. She has much experience in the area of Liturgy, having worked as the Director of Liturgy for the Redemptorist Order in Marianella, Rathgar, Dublin.  Karen also has a lot of experience in the area of Music, in particular Sacred Music, having worked with Liam Lawton, Kevin O’Carroll and Ronan McDonagh.  She was also a soloist for the Statio Orbis during the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 2012 and was a member of the special choir for the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park in August 2018.  Karen has much experience as a Cantor in St. Michael’s Church in Dun Laoighaire, St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral and on many occasions at the National Centre for Liturgy.

John O’Keeffe

Native of Portmagee, Co. Kerry, John O’Keeffe received his initial training in church music in Mullingar as part of the Schola Cantorum at St Finian’s College, under its founder-director, Fr Frank McNamara. Following postings at the Pro-Cathedral (under the mentorship of Professor Gerard Gillen), Westminster Cathedral and Longford Cathedral, he was appointed as Director of Sacred Music at the National Seminary in Maynooth College, where he has spent over three decades building up an indigenous repertoire of liturgical music for mass and office, a small portion of which has so far been published as part of the church music series Feasts and Seasons. 

John also holds the position of Director of Choral Groups at Maynooth University, where he helped establish the Chamber Choir and Schola Gregoriana. He directs Church Music Diploma and Masters in Liturgical Music programmes at Maynooth, and his book, The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada: Explorations in Vernacular Chant, was published by Cork University Press in 2017. In 2018, he was appointed Director of Music for the Papal Mass at the Phoenix Park, at the close of the World Meeting of Families and in 2021 he was awarded the Knighthood of St. Gregory for his services to Irish church music. A composer of liturgical music, his Mass of Saint Mel was commissioned to mark the rededication of St Mel’s Cathedral, and his new congregational setting of the Credo was launched last December as part of Irish Dominican celebrations marking the eighth centenary of the death of their founder.




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