June 2018 Showcase

LOWLIGHT GATHERING are purveyors of electric indie-folk music that stirs emotions and touches hearts wherever they travel. The Monaghan based band consists of Charlie Livingstone (Acoustic Guitar/Lead Vocals) Gregory O’Neill (Bass/Backing Vocals) Daniel Mahony (Piano/Backing Vocals) Shay Sweeney (Drums/Percussion) and Chris Cole (Lead Guitar).

Touring the length and breadth of Ireland saw the lads being welcomed with open arms and ears throughout the country as they refined their sound and following the release of their studio debut “Young Hearts” they received both public and critical acclaim. In 2017 the band were winners of the “Best Newcomer” Award and Nominee for “EP of the Year” at the PureM Awards. They supported the release of their EP on the festival circuit; performing to crowds at Vantastival, YouBloom, Electric Picnic, Whelans ‘Ones to Watch’ and Taste to name just a few, as well as supporting The Hothouse Flowers, The Riptide Movement, The Magic Numbers and Ryan Sheridan. 2018 will see the boys collaborating with Ryan Sheridan for the recording and release of their second EP, along with a tour of Ireland, the release of their single and some tashty slots on the festival scene to boot.


Mary McCleary was born in Belfast, but was reared by her grandparents in Dungannon Co Tyrone as W.W.2 was raging. She attended The Convent of Mercy and St Patrick’s Academy and was involved in many sports including badminton and cycling in which she competed in for Ulster. She married Seamus in 1956 and brought up seven children. Seamus R.I.P. passed away three years ago. Mary published a very successful novel ‘Betrayals’, and has two more novels waiting for a sympathetic publisher. When her family had grown she attended Queen’s University for creative writing and drama and taught children’s drama until she retired eight years ago. Always involved in local community, she was Cub Mistress to the Brian Boru Troupe. A keen member of Monaghan Musical Society and the Monaghan Dramatic Society where she also produced some very memorable plays such as ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ and ‘Factory Girls’.

She has also arranged fashion shows that funded many local charity events. Her hobbies are painting, gardening, swimming, and theatre. She loves jazz and blues music and enjoys The Arts Network’s Showcases every month!


Ben grew up in cobungra a small mountain hamlet in north eastern Victoria, Australia. Picking up guitar at age 12 having learnt a strong foundation of music from his father Peter Folkman a modest local icon in bluegrass,country folk music circles . He played with his dad for most of his adolescent years playing backup guitar for his wide variety of mandolin, fiddle and ukulele tunes in local acoustic country/bluegrass festivals, wineries and their weekly radio station segment.. Ben’s inspiration has derived from such musical legends Ds doc Watson, Norman Blake, Hank Williams,and Tony Rice and playing along with all the early acoustic blues players on his Dad’s old record player. Most of Ben’s 20’s were spent cooking, fruit picking and busking around Australia before moving to Ireland. Since then he has been networking with the amazing musicians in the Cootehill area and works in the iconic O’Learys bakery delicatessen in Cootehill as a chef. Having found a sense of belonging in his new emerald isle home he has been honoured to have had the opportunity to be guitarist for the amazing Janice Igoe and local rockin’ acoustic band ‘The Bouseys while also following his own passion for music and food in Ireland.


The Amoroso quartet was founded in 2016 by four friends looking for an outlet to play chamber music. They have been the apprentice quartet with the Galway Music Residency since 2016 and after a successful debut in May, have been invited to stay on as apprentices with the Galway Music Residency for their 2017/18 season. The quartet have been mentored by the RTE ConTempo quartet, Katherine Hunka, leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2017 they were invited to play at the Boyne Music Festival as part of their young artists concert. Most recently the quartet were invited to play in the University of Limerick as part of their lunchtime concert series.


MC for our June showcase this Wednesday will be 19 year old actress, singer and writer Aoibhín Ní Ghabhann. Aoibhín has performed for Monaghan Arts Network last June when she showcased her songwriting and singing talents. Aoibhín has also performed on the Network stage with Monaghan Poets and Songwriters and Monaghan Youth Theatre. She has written songs in both Irish and English and is an accomplished writer of short stories and plays. In 2014 she won the RTÉ Guide Short Story competition for her age group. One of her songs was featured in the Arts Network’s 1916 play ‘Kay’ by Sean Ó Máirtín which was performed in the Garage Theatre Monaghan, The Holy Family Hall Carrickmacross and Monaghan County Museum. A keen musician, Aoibhín plays piano, fiddle and the bass guitar and is influenced by almost every sort of music under the sun! She is a proud past member of Monaghan Youth Theatre and current member of UCD Dramsoc and UCD Musicsoc. She studies Drama and English in University College Dublin and hopes to embark on a career in the performing arts world.