Vote For Your Top 10 Irish Set Dances 2017

Aah, it’s been a while since my last post but I thought it would be nice to engage and see if dancers across the globe are interested in making their favourite sets known, like we did in 2015 and 2016.

I am just doing this for the craic – there are no prizes or accolades for the winning sets- just like there’s no prizes for set dancing:- we do it for the fun of it.


  • Pick your top 10 –  Tick up to 10 sets you love dancing the most you can add up to 10 additional sets at the bottom if your favourites are not listed. PLEASE ADD THEM ALL INTO THE ONE BOX – OTHER- with a comma between each set name.
  • Your favorite NEW set? I suggest you add these into the COMMENTS box below if you especially want to highlight that, and I will include a listing in the final results.
  • Vote once – You can only vote once, so choose carefully.
  • Closes – This poll is open for 1 week until around midnight Sunday 7th January 2018.
  • Final results – full results will be published on Monday 8th January 2018.  You can also see how it’s going by returning to this post and clicking on VIEW RESULTS at the bottom of the sets list.
  • Privacy – no private information is collected in this survey- completely anonymous.
  • Can’t see the poll below? Switch from private browsing in your internet browser may help. (Sorry, can’t do much about that for those worried about privacy.)
  • PLEASE SHARE this poll. Thank-you!

Happy dancing!

Nora Stewart
Irish Bliss

irish bliss globe of world flags

Your Top 5 Céilí Bands for 2016

The Dartry Céilí Band from Ireland got the most votes this year in our popular poll, closely chased by bands from the USA and the UK – see full results in the table below.

A fantastic response from all over the world with just over 4,000 votes and 175 bands listed. I thank everyone who took the time to vote.

Special mention goes to a very late entrant, the Tanzanian Céil Band – I suspect this  might be our most exotic entry to date. They are raising funds for the Tanzanian Children’s Project and the band’s slogan is:

Traditional Irish Music for A Better World

My sentiments exactly. Congratulations to all the céilí bands for your dedication and all the enjoyment you bring, no matter how many votes you got-more power to you all.

Happy St.Patrick’s Day and enjoy the music and dance wherever you are in the world.

Nora Stewart
Irish Bliss



1 Dartry Céilí Band (IRL) 463
2 Pride of Patuxent Pond/ Southern Maryland Pond Scum Céilí Band (USA) 399
3 Ceol na hÉireann Céilí Band (UK) 351
4 Kilfenora Céilí Band (IRL) 275
5 Abbey Céilí Band (IRL) 259
6 Beartla Ui Flatharta Céilí Band (IRL) 251
7 Full House Céilí Band (IRL) 187
8 Long Note Céilí Band (IRL) 110
9 Four Provinces Céilí Band (SCOT) 91
10 Johnny Reidy Céilí Band (IRL) 82
11 Swallow’s Tail Céilí Band (IRL) 76
12 Rhine Valley Céilí Band (DEU) 74
13 Tulla Céilí Band (IRL) 69
14 Awbeg Céilí Band/ Five Counties (IRL) 48
15= Rise the Dust Céilí Band (IRL) 37
15= Salamanca Céilí Band (IRL) 37
16 Bridge Céilí Band (IRL) 36
17= Inishbofin Céilí Band (IRL) 34
17= Matt Cunningham Céilí Band (IRL) 34
18 Coast Céilí Band (AUS) 33
19 Moylurg Céilí Band (IRL) 32
20= Rambling House Céilí Band (USA) 26
20= Striolán Céilí Band (IRL) 26
21 Ceoltóirí Chicago Céilí Band (USA) 25
22= Knockmore Céilí Band (IRL) 24
Old Bay Céilí Band (USA) 24
Trinity College Céilí Band (IRL) 24
23= Four Courts Céilí Band (IRL) 23
Star of Munster Céilí Band (IRL) 23
24= Glenside Céilí Band (IRL) 22
Innisfree Céilí Band (IRL) 22
Triskell Céilí Band (IRL) 22
25= Bogwanderers Céilí Band (USA) 21
Uí Bhríain Céilí Band (IRL) 21
26= Cape May Céilí Band (USA) 20
Ger Murphy & Ken Cotter (IRL) 20
Taylor’s Cross Céilí Band (IRL) 20
27 Copperplate Céilí Band (NIRL) 19
28= Brian Ború Céilí Band (IRL) 18
28= Michael Sexton Céilí Band (IRL) 18
Templehouse Céilí Band (IRL) 18
29 Shaskeen Céilí Band (IRL) 17
30= Allow Céilí Band (IRL) 16
Ennis Céilí Band (IRL) 16
Gallowglass Céilí Band (IRL) 16
Jimmy Mullarkey Céilí Band (AUS) 16
31 St. Rochs Céilí Band (Scotland) 15
32= Lough Oughter Céilí Band 13
Pride of Erin Céilí Band (IRL) 13
Tim Joe and Anne O’Riordan (IRL) 13
33= Annaly Céilí Band (IRL) 12
Emerald Céilí Band (IRL) 12
J Patrick’s All-Stars (USA) 12
Kilmovee Céilí Band (IRL) 12
Shannonvale Céilí Band (IRL) 12
Táin Céilí Band (IRL) 12
Waterford Comhaltas Céilí Band (IRL) 12
34= Neily O’Connor Céilí Band (IRL) 11
Temple Michael Céilí Band (IRL) 11
35= Ceol na gCroí Céilí Band (USA) 10
Davey Céilí Band (IRL) 10
Heather Breeze Céilí Band (IRL) 10
Turloughmore Céilí Band (Irl) 10
36= Green Gates Céilí Band (USA) 9
Pride of Moyvane Céilí Band (USA) 9
37= Brosna Céilí Band (IRL) 8
Deenagh Céilí Band (IRL) 8
38= Burrishoole Céilí Band (IRL) 7
Céilí Time Céilí Band (NIRL) 7
John Whelan Band (USA) 7
Leitrim Céilí Band (IRL) 7
Liverpool Céilí Band (UK) 7
Micheál Sexton & Pat Walsh (IRL) 7
Roisín Dubh Céilí Band (IRL) 7
Tara Céilí Band (IRL) 7
39= Corner House Canberra Céilí Band (AUS) 6
Ilen Céilí Band (IRL) 6
Laochtain Naofa Céilí Band (IRL) 6
40= Aughrim Slopes Céilí Band (IRL) 5
Carousel Céilí Band (IRL) 5
Eska Riada Céilí Band (IRL) 5
Inishowen Céilí Band (CAN) 5
Jamaica Plain Céilí Band (USA) 5
Knocknagow Céilí Band 5
O’Carolan Country Céilí Band (IRL) 5
Parasol Duo (FRA) 5
Pipers Club Céilí Band (IRL) 5
Tempeall an Gleanntáin Céilí Band (IRL) 5
Thatch Céilí Band (UK) 5
Tipsy House Céilí Band (USA) 5
41= Cabbagetown Céilí Band (CAN) 4
Copenhagen Céilí Band (DNK) 4
Duntally Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Foot Tappers Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Ken Kelleher Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Kilina Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Kincora Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Lynch Family (IRL) 4
Moorings Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Naomh Padraig Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Roazhon Céilí Band (FRA) 4
Siamsa Céilí Band (IRL) 4
Toe for Toe Céilí Band (CHE) 4
42= Barefield Céilí Band (IRL) 3
Castle Céilí Band (IRL) 3
Cogar Céilí Band (IRL) 3
Doon Céilí Band (USA) 3
Fódhla Céilí Band (IRL) 3
Green Jacket Céilí Band (BEL) 3
Leeds Céilí Band (UK) 3
Loughmore Céilí Band 3
Munich Céilí Band (DEU) 3
Ormonde Céilí Band (IRL) 3
Shannon Céilí Band (USA) 3
Swaree Céilí Bandy (DEU) 3
Tangambalanga Céilí Band (AUS) 3
Traditional Irish Musicians Céilí Band 3
Twin Cities Céilí Band (USA) 3
43= All-Star Céilí Band (USA) 2
Blackwater Ceili band (IRL) 2
Broken Pledge Ceili Band 2
Ceoltóirí Mancúin Céilí Band (UK) 2
Crumac Céilí Band (USA) 2
Curragh Céilí Band/ Jerry McCarthy (IRL) 2
Devine’s Diner Céilí Band (USA) 2
Hamilton Céilí Band (CAN) 2
Herschel Arms Céilí Band (UK) 2
Lansdowne Céilí Band (CAN) 2
Living Bridge Céilí Band (IRL) 2
Longridge Céilí Band (IRL) 2
Lough Na Gower Céilí Band 2
Naomh Íde Céilí Band 2
Newborough Céilí Band (IRL) 2
Pete Kelly Céilí Band (USA) 2
Philadelphia Ceili Band 2
Richard Fitzgerald Céilí Band (IRL) 2
Sainak Céilí Band (JPN) 2
Sean Norman Céilí Band (IRL) 2
Slievenamon Group (IRL) 2
St Colmcilles Céilí Band (UK) 2
St.Albans Céilí Band (UK) 2
St.James The Great Céilí Band 2
St.Malachy’s Céilí Band (UK) 2
Tanzania Céilí Band 2
44= Athas- Milwaukee USA 1
Bofield Céilí band 1
Boston CCE Ceili Band 1
Bush Céilí Band (IRL) 1
Cathal McAnulty Céilí Band (NIRL) 1
Ceilidh Rogues Australia 1
Corofin Ceili Band 1
Cúpla Céilí Band (IRL) 1
Donal Ring Céilí Band 1
Green Linnet Céilí Band (IRL) 1
Lone Star Céilí Band (USA) 1
Loughree Céilí Band (IRL) 1
McIlroy Céilí Band (IRL) 1
Na Comharhsanna Ceilí Band 1
Northeast Céilí Band (USA) 1
Ottawa Céilí Band (CAN) 1
Portersharks (USA) 1
Reel Note Ceili Band (UK) 1
Reilly Clan 1
Rosclare Céilí Band (USA) 1
Seacoast Céilí Band (USA) 1
South Jersey Céilí Band (USA) 1

Vote for Your Top 5 Irish Céilí Bands 2016

It’s on again – the battle of the Irish céilí bands to get a place in the top 5 for 2016. We had a brilliant response last year and looking forward to supporting our old favourites and the newer bands within the ever-expanding stable of wonderful Irish dance musicians.

We dancers are so lucky to have so many talented and energetic musicians to play for us  and giving support  and a vote to our favourite bands is like the least we can do, although you can vote whether you dance or not. You just have to love the music!

Continue reading

Your Top 5 Sets for 2016

Thank-you everyone for your 669 votes over a 2 week period…and the winners are:

1 Merchant 52
2 Ballyvourney Jig 47
3 Clare Lancers 44
4 Connemara  (aka Connemara Reel ) 34
5 Clare Plain (Reel) 33
6 Cashel 26
7 Caledonian 22
8 West Kerry 20
9= Antrim Square 18
9= Aran 18
9= Claddagh 18
9= Moycullen 18
10= Borlin 14
10= Clare Orange and Green 14
10= Corofin Plain 14
10= Kilfenora Plain 14
11 Croisloch 13
12= Caragh Lake Jig 12
12= Paris 12
12= Sliabh Luachra (aka North Cork Polka ) 12
13= Labasheeda 11
13= Metal Bridge 11
14= Newport 10
14= Rinkinstown 10
15 Camp 8
16 North Kerry 7
17= Black Valley Square Jig 6
17= Boyne 6
17= Connemara Jig (aka Freres Nantes) 6
17= Derrada 6
17= Hurry the Jug 6
17= South Sligo Lancers 6
18= Auban 5
18= Ballycommon 5
18= Sliabh gCua 5
19= Armagh 4
19= Corballa 4
19= Kildownet Half 4
19= South Galway Reel(aka South Galway Half & South Galway Half ) 4
19= South Kerry 4
20= Ballyduff 3
20= Borlin Jenny 3
20= Clare Plain Polka 3
20= Dublin 3
20= Glencree 3
20= Mazurka 3
20= Melleray Lancers 3
20= Roscommon Lancers 3
20= Sliabh Fraoch 3

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Vote For Your Top 5 Sets 2016

Wow! The great long list of Irish set dances attached below – 236 in all – including many new ones this year, is a testament to the current health of set dancing.

Following the successful poll this time last year with Ballyvourney Jig Set at the top – see results from 2015 – I thought we’d give it another go.

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Your Top 3 Irish Céilí Dances

“Well, that was embarrassing!” Not a great start for a blog post but that is about the size of it. The results are in from the global poll and I received a grand total of 91 voters, the lowest response by far of the three polls I have conducted.

This is despite the fact that almost 3 times that many people read the blog post, two-thirds of you readers did not vote.

However, my thanks to those who did vote, and the High Cauled Cap was in front all the way. Continue reading

Your Top 5 Irish Céilí Bands 2015

What an amazing response we had to this poll – the amount of interest far exceeded my wildest reckoning.

10,030 votes from 40 countries far and wide, with 128 bands on the list which  expanded over the poll week to include 171 bands, suggested by you.

I’m not sure if this is the first poll of Irish céilí bands, but the purpose of holding a popular vote was to try increase the level of interest in Irish dance music.  I can see that it doesn’t need a huge amount of help but I hope it has added something extra. I’d love to see the day where every country in the world has at least one céilí band.

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Vote for Your Top 5 Irish Céilí Bands

Great music is the partner to great dancing, and to celebrate the vibrant music we lucky dancers and music fans have available, I thought it was time have a poll to find out what you think.

Putting this list of 157 céilí bands* together has been a real eye-opener, with your suggestion to include bands from as far back at the 1950’s, some I’ve never heard of but have won All-Ireland places in the Fleadh Cheoil  over the years or come from the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan and yes, even Australia!

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Vote for Your Top 5 Irish Set Dances

Deciding on the line-up of dances for Irish set dancing can be torture for a dance/ céilí organiser- or not.

Debate has raged for some years now, particularly in Ireland, whether or not to continually expand the range of sets danced or to stick to the ones people know, especially the ones I call the “C” sets – Caledonian, Clare Plain, Cashel, Connemara, Corofin, etc. Learning new sets is great and it can be very disappointing if you never get to dance them at céilís.

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