Sligo winners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2023 Honoured with Cathaoirleach’s Reception

Sligo winners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2023 Honoured with Cathaoirleach’s Reception

The Sligo winners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2023 have been honoured with a reception by Sligo County Council hosted by the Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerard Mullaney, on Friday evening last, 26th January.

In addition to the Cathaoirleach, the audience was addressed by Tim Mulcahy, CCÉ County Board Chairperson.

In his address, the Cathaoirleach said:

Testament

“It is with great pride and joy that I welcome you here this evening, to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Sligo winners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2023.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, serves as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and musical excellence that thrives within our nation.  It is a platform where the finest musicians, singers, dancers, and composers come together to showcase their remarkable skills and passion for the traditional arts.

Sligo Fleadh winners Reception - Cathaoirleach Cathaoirleach Councillor Gerard Mullaney speaking at the reception held for the Sligo winners of Fleadh Cheoil na h√Čireann 2023

Preserving

Our various Comhaltas Branches around the county have carried out exemplary work in preserving, promoting and fostering Irish Traditional music, culture and the Irish language.

It has certainly succeeded in this ambition, and in addition to preserving our cherished musical culture, it has energised and inspired new generations of talented young musicians to follow in the footsteps of the iconic characters who have gone before.

Victorious

Sligo has always been a vibrant hub of artistic expression and cultural significance.  It is therefore, no surprise that we have emerged victorious in so many of these prestigious competitions at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2023.  

The dedication, perseverance, and countless hours of practice that our winners have put into honing their craft have paid off in the most remarkable way.

Pride

To the musicians who have captivated our hearts with their melodies, the dancers who have left us in awe with their graceful movements, the singers whose voices have touched our souls, and the composers who have brought new life to traditional tunes, I commend you all.  

Your talent has brought immense pride and joy not only to yourselves and your families but also to the entire community of Sligo.

Encouragement

In addition to the winners, I would also like to acknowledge and express our gratitude to the teachers, mentors, and families who have played an integral role in nurturing and supporting these extraordinary individuals.  Your guidance, encouragement, and unwavering belief in their abilities have contributed significantly to their success.

Let us not forget that this achievement goes beyond mere competition.  It is a celebration of our shared heritage, a testament to the power of music in bringing communities together, and a reminder of the immense talent and creativity that exists within our county.

Sligo Fleadh winners Reception - Tim Mulcahy Tim Mulcahy speaking at the reception held for the Sligo winners of Fleadh Cheoil na h√Čireann 2023

Inspiration

Sligo County Council is proud of its ongoing association with Comhaltas branches and their teams of community volunteers.  We are committed to supporting and promoting the traditional arts in Sligo.  I firmly believe that our cultural heritage is a precious asset that must be cherished, preserved, and passed on to future generations.  The success of our winners today serves as an inspiration for young aspiring artists who dream of following in their footsteps.

Congratulations

Before I finish, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Sligo musicians, Conal McCormack, CCÉ Riverstown, Tom and Kate Gavin, CCÉ Fred Finn and Jason McGuinness, CCÉ Tireragh who came second in the Senior Céilí Band competition with The Glór na dTonn Céilí Band of CCÉ Scoil Acla, Co Mayo.  The Glór na dTonn Céilí Band were among eleven finalists that took part in the competition.

Dedication

In conclusion, I extend my warmest congratulations to the winners of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann from Sligo.  Your exceptional talent and dedication have brought honour and recognition to our county.  May you continue to shine brightly and inspire others with your musical prowess.

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Speaking at the reception, CCÉ County Board Chairperson, Tim Mulcahy, thanked the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Councillor Gerard Mullaney, for hosting the event, and for recognising the success achieved by the prize winners.

Mr Mulcahy continued,

“Comhaltas Ceolteorí na hÉireann here in Sligo is very aware of the support and assistance that we receive from Sligo County Council and the close relationship that we have built together over the years. 

We are particularly grateful to the councillors themselves for the continuing financial support of our local festivals and fleadhanna, which has played no small part in the success of Sligo traditional musicians both here and abroad.

This weekend alone for example, Conor McDonagh from Killavil, has qualified for the final of The O’Riada Medal competition in Cork, which is being broadcast live tonight on Radio na Gaelachta. And Jason McGuinness from Dromore West, who is playing at the prestigious Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow this weekend also.

These lads along with all the other musician, have come up through Sligo Comhaltas music classes, sessions, Fleadhs and festivals which this Council has so generously supported over the years.

Over the last 10 years, Sligo has hosted two All Ireland Fleadh Cheoils and CCE’s first post covid event nationaly, the All Ireland Tradfest here in Sligo in 2021.

So, if proof were needed of Sligo’s place in tradition music circles, it will come as no surprise that at last year’s National Congress of Comhaltas, which has been held annually in Dublin for over 50 years, they decided on a change of venue, and to host it here in Sligo on the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

The Congress will bring Comhaltas delegates, from all over the world, here to Sligo, and plans are well afoot to make this a memorable event for them and to highlight all that Sligo has to offer” Mr Mulcahy said.

Finally, I would personally like to congratulate all the recipients of awards here this evening and to all the competitors who represented Sligo at the All Ireland Fleadh in Mullingar, they are a credit to their families, their local communities, and to Sligo.”