October 19, 2022



Zoë Conway & John McIntyre with special guest, Riverdance composer Bill Whelan

This is going to be a rare night! Fiddler Zoë Conway and her guitarist husband, John McIntyre, will perform a very special, one-off concert with their good friend, Riverdance composer Bill Whelan.  

“Ballymaloe Grainstore was our first choice for this performance as there is such a wonderful, creative and organic environment at Ballymaloe,” says Zoë.  “We really feel part of the community there. Bill's children have completed the Ballymaloe cookery course, and John and I have had musical visits for more than 15 years, performing at public, private and corporate events.”

This will be a rare live performance for Bill Whelan, one of Ireland’s most famous and influential composers.  As part of the evening, Bill will read excerpts from his new memoir, The Road to Riverdance, which actor and author Gabriel Byrne says ‘‘Vividly describes Bill's singular journey from Limerick to world fame as a Grammy-winning composer … a fascinating and revealing book about the man and his music.”

In 2002, Bill produced Zoe’s first solo album in his recording studio in Roundstone, Co. Galway. It took almost two years to complete, so over that time they formed a close friendship and have continued to work closely on many projects ever since. Zoë and John were delighted to feature on the 25th Anniversary recording of Riverdance last year.

Bill is best known for composing the international phenomenon, Riverdance, for which he won the 1997 Grammy Award for “Best Musical Show Album” – and yes, Grainstore audiences can expect to hear a rousing version of that tune!

With an exciting blend of eclectic fiddle and guitar music, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre bring to the stage sympathetic arrangements of traditional Irish music and songs, old and new.  The husband-and-wife folk duo possess a rare facility to draw pieces into their repertoire from other genres such as classical, jazz and world music and display the sheer range and knowledge of both instrumentalists and the wonderful versatility of their instruments.

Together, Zoë and John have been described as “simply one of the best folk duos on the planet” (BBC), and audiences in Ireland and beyond keep coming back for more.  They have performed for rock stars, millionaires and dignitaries around the world, including Irish Presidents Mary McAleese and Michael D. Higgins

Bill composed Riverdance for the interval act of the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest. As a single release, Riverdance spent 18 weeks at No. 1in the Irish charts and was a Top Ten hit in the UK. Since then, it has gone on to play to millions of people world-wide with both the album and video topping the charts around the world. Bill was honoured with a 1997 Grammy Award when the Riverdance record was named the “Best Musical Show Album”.

His work with Irish traditional music and musicians has occupied much of his time since1980 when he was the pianist for the legendary Planxty.  His production and arranging credits include, among others, U2, Van Morrison and Kate Bush. He has also worked extensively in theatre. His adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore had successful runs at London’s Old Vic, Melbourne and Sydney and received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.

In 1989,he was appointed composer to the W.B. Yeats International Theatre Festival at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, he wrote original music for 15 Yeats’s plays .He has also composed scores for films including Lamb starring Liam Neeson and Dancing at Lughnasa starring Meryl Streep.

Signed copies of The Road to Riverdance will be available for sale after the concert.

Early Dinner, Bed & Breakfast package:

October 19th 2022

The package includes:

Afternoon tea on arrival

Early 3-course Ballymaloe dinner

8pm Zoe Conway, John McIntyre and Bill Whelan at Ballymaloe Grainstore

Bed & Breakfast

€420 per couple (based on double occupancy of a Heritage room)

To Book contact Daphne on 0214652531 or email

Book now
Book nowLearn More

About Ballymaloe Yoga Retreats:

About Dearbhla

Dearbhla has been practicing yoga for over 20 years, the more she practiced she noticed how grounded and calm she was after yoga. In time the physical rewards became secondary to the mental and spiritual impact of her practice. Yoga and meditation has both become an integral part of her daily life.

Dearbhla currently practices and teaches Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative yoga and Meditation.And she believes through the practice of yoga we can find balance, clarity and stillness of the mind.

Dearbhla has trained extensively and has vast experience teaching retreats both in Ireland and Internationally, she has been the resident teacher at the Cliffs of Moher for 4 years.  She also teaches in Little Bird and Samadhi yoga. And in 2020 and 2021 Dearbhla has been teaching online via Zoom!

Dearbhla is very interested in healing and trauma in the body, her retreats have a focus on healing and letting go of all stress, connecting to a place of peace and calm that is always there.

For more information on Dearbhla visit

A Yoga Retreat with delicious Food

Ballymaloe House has a reputation for delivering delicious food. All meals will be served in the beautiful surroundings of the Ballymaloe Dining rooms with produce sourced from the walled garden and local area. Each meal will be a delicious experience to nourish and rejuvenate.

Sample Retreat Itinerary

Arrival Day

  • Check in  3 - 4pm
  • 5pm - Welcome drink and healthy snack in the Grainstore
  • 5.30 - 7pm - Yin and restorative yoga in the grain store or on zoom in your room if you prefer
  • 7.30pm - Welcome dinner in Ballymaloe

1st Day

  • 7.30 - 9.00am - Meditation and morning yoga practice in the Grainstore
  • 9am - Breakfast  in Ballymaloe House
  • 10am - Mindful walk
  • 11.30am - Herbal tea
  • 12pm - Breath work, gentle stretching and relaxation
  • 1.30pm - Lunch in Ballymaloe
Afternoon - free time, find a sunny spot in the garden and read a book, go for a swim at one of the many beautiful beaches close to Ballymaloe. Walk the grounds or take a tour of the Cookery School gardens.
  • 5.30 - 7pm - Evening yoga Yin and Restorative practice - opening up tired joints and letting go of all stress,
  • 7.30pm - Dinner in Ballymaloe

2nd Day

  • 7.30am - Meditation and yoga in the Grainstore
  • 9am - Breakfast  in Ballymaloe House
  • 10am - Mindful walk
  • 11.15 - Herbal tea
  • 11.30 - 12.30am - Breath work and gentle stretching
  • 12.30 - Farewell lunch in Ballymaloe (2 day retreats)
  • 5.30 - 7pm - Evening yoga Yin and Restorative practice - opening  up tired joints and letting go of all stress.
  • 7.15pm - Dinner in Ballymaloe House
  • 9pm – Yoga Nidra in the Grainstore

3rd Day

  • 8am - Meditation and yoga in the Grainstore
  • 10.30am - Farewell Brunch  in Ballymaloe House

Morning Practice

Dearbhla will lead a warming Vinyasa flow practice in the mornings. Practicing several sun salutations with a different variations. The overall practice is slow, moving  mindfully with the breath. Holding some poses a little longer to develop strength and generate warmth in the body. We will flow through different transitions improving overall body awareness and opening the joints, while also strengthening and lengthening the muscles. The practice is slow, warming and requires some physical stamina yet it has a lovely meditative and mindful quality to it.  Dearbhla will offer modifications for any of the more challenging poses and rest is always an option! Creating an overall feeling of stillness and calm.

The second-morning practice

This is a lovely practice which focuses on breathing, stretching and relaxing before lunch.

The Evening practices are Yin and restorative

Slow down, unwind and restore your energy with a ninety minute Yin Yoga and restorative practice, aiming to calm the mind, stretch and relax the body. This two-hour practice will create space and stillness in both the mind and body. Yin yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones and even the joints, and releases tension and stress in the body.

The focus is simply about letting go of stress and tension, releasing into a deep yin practice followed by a long restorative practice using bolsters and blankets so people can relax, unwind and recharge. Dearbhla will use relaxing essential oils during the restorative practice for an even more relaxing experience.

Ballymaloe House & Grainstore

Come take sanctuary in the beautiful grounds of Ballymaloe House and Grainstore.

We promise to nurture you and create a safe space where you can rest, reflect, reconnect with yourself. Our retreats are for those of us who really want to rest and take some time out to self care, reflect, unwind and simply let go of all stress.

Ballymaloe is is a beautiful, nourishing environment,  you are in a safe and cosy cocoon of comfort, where every detail of your stay has been thought of.

All you have to do is show up and we will make sure you have a wonderful, restful stay

There is plenty of time to reconnect with yourself, move, stretch, rest and reset.

Your bedroom in Ballymaloe will be spacious and comfortable.  

Ballymaloe Grainstore, as the name suggests is an old grainstore that was turned into a multipurpose venue by Rory Allen. The large airy space offers a calm light filled area for you to practice yoga in a safe and covid friendly environment.

Book This RetreatBook This Retreat
No Extra Photos