Matt McGinn – from foothills to Fleadh

Hilltown singer-songwriter Matt McGinn has much to celebrate, as he makes his Fleadh debut at Newry Town Hall on 26 August with special guests Ciara O’Neill and Joshua Burnside.

Matt’s latest release Time Well Spent was RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Album of the Week’ earlier this year.


He was commissioned by Northern Ireland Screen to write a suite for their digital archives. He composed, arranged and performed in Tribute To Willie Campbell, a man who busked the streets of Belfast for 40 years until he died in 1969. Matt’s piece was filmed and is touring Irish film festivals in the autumn.

When lockdown hit in 2020, Matt, along with fellow performer Cormac Neeson of The Answer, developed the online presence Cocoons.

Spanning over 60 weeks, it became a much-loved, diverse and inclusive platform that has seen performances from more than 140 established artists all around the world – and raised more than £12,000 for various charities.


Hailing from the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, Matt has a warm, rasping and powerful voice that delivers worldly wise lyrics.

The legendary Bob Harris played a song from Matt’s 2015 album Latter Day Sinner on BBC Radio 2, and said, ‘Darkest Before The Day, what a truly beautiful track…Matt, your album is superb. I’ve seen Matt play live, he’s fantastic’.

Clive Price