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Corrib Shores: These Are Our People – Rita & Sarah Keane

Corrib Beo have collaborated with a number of different community groups to create the new exhibition, Corrib Shores: These Are Our People, which will be on display in the museum Education Room from 13 August 2023 until 20 September 2023.  This community-led exhibition celebrates eleven men and women from around the Corrib shores who have made a significant footprint in society during their lives, maybe not setting the world on fire, but creating a spark that mattered, be it locally, nationally or internationally. Today we feature


Rita Keane (1923–2009) & Sarah Keane (1918–2010)

Traditional Musicians & Singers

Colour photograph of the Keane sisters, Sarah and Rita at the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil Day in the 1980s.
Sarah and Rita Keane a the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil Day in Shrule, Co. Mayo, mid- to late-1980s. Courtesy of John Murphy

Rita and Sarah were two of eight siblings born to farmers Matt and May Keane (née Costello) at Carragh, Caherlistrane. From a traditional music family, their mother May was a well-known song collector and their thatched cottage in Carragh was celebrated for its musical gatherings. The sisters played in the Keane’s Céilí Band for many years, releasing their first album, ‘Once I Loved’, in 1968 and their second, ‘At the Setting of the Sun’, in 1996. Highly regarded for their distinct vocal style and unique ability to sing sean-nós songs in unison, Rita and Sarah are credited as important bearers of tradition and in 2006 received the TG4 Lifetime Achievement Award for their contribution to traditional Irish music.



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