Scoil Acla, Achill Island, Co Mayo, Ireland

Scoil Acla Summer School

28th July – 3rd August 2024

Scoil Acla is an annual summer school on Achill Island that has been promoting traditional Irish music, arts and culture annual since being revived in 1985, though it was first run in 1910. At the heart of Scoil Acla is tuition – for all ages and abilities – in a range of traditional musical instruments, including the harp, uileann pipes, fiddle, concert flute, bango, concertina, tin whistle and accordion. Scoil Acla hosts a highly respected writers workshop, along with regular concerts, poetry readings, drama performances and art exhibitions. Classes are offered in Gaeilg’ Acla (Achill Irish language) and courses in the visual arts are also provided.

Full details of courses and events, along with online bookings, are available on the Scoil Acla website. Early bird booking for Scoil Acla 2024 opens in the New Year.

Music session on Keel Beach

Scoil Acla is committed to providing expert tuition in traditional music at a very reasonable price. An enjoyable and rewarding holiday activity for children, Scoil Acla also attracts participants from across the globe including regular pupils from the USA and Japan.

Contestants in the Hata Acla competition, Scoil Acla, Achill IslandOne of the regular features in Scoil Acla is the ‘Hata Acla’, a family competition in traditional music. In olden times not everybody in Achill had a hat to wear, and in order that the Achill man would not feel out of place when he went to town, a community hat was hung on a post at Achill Sound (the village next to the bridge connecting Achill Island to the mainland) to be worn on those occasions. This hat was called ‘Hata Acla’ and the custom is commemorated in the form of this family competition.

Fadó in Acaill ní raibh hata ag gach duine, ach bhí hata ag an bpobal. Bhíodh an hata seo ar crochadh ar phosta i nGob a’ Choire agus cead ag duine ar bith a bhí ag dul go dtí an baile mór, an hata seo a chaitheamh agus é a fhágáil ar ais ar a mbealach abhaile. Tá muintir Acla tagtha chun cinn ó shin; agus tá an comórtas seo bunaithe ar an sean-nós.

Scoil Acla – A traditional Irish summer school on Achill Island in the west of Ireland.