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Scotland enjoys strong medal haul at Derry’s Fleadh Cheoil

Eadaoin (12) and Jenna Gallagher (12) from Derry perform during the Fleadh Cheoil
Eadaoin (12) and Jenna Gallagher (12) from Derry perform during the Fleadh Cheoil

COMHALTAS Ceoltóirí Éireann in Scotland enjoyed great success at this year’s Fleadh Cheoil, bringing home over half the British medal haul from this year’s competitions.

Scottish CCÉ development officer Paddy Callaghan said their triumph was testament to a “real determination to preserve the culture” in the region.

“The success is down to the hard work of the individuals who take the time out, free of charge, to teach the next generation,” he said. “This is all helped by the fact that for the first time in a long while, trad music is considered cool!”

More music:

The All-Ireland-Fleadh, held this year for the first time north of the Irish border in Derry, is described as the Olympics of traditional music.

Musicians and performers from around the world compete for the top spots.

Competitive events include song, dance, Irish language and music, with instruments ranging from bouzouki to bodhráns.

This year saw Glasgow branch St James the Great achieve its first ever winner when Kathleen Ewins took gold in the under 15 accompaniment.

“Many branches in Comhaltas are in jeopardy of closing or indeed have lost large swathes of their membership in recent years,” said Paddy, who is also this year’s BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Crowds enjoying the Fleadh in Derry
Crowds enjoying the Fleadh in Derry

“This is probably partly down to the current crop being third, fourth or fifth generation as opposed to first or second. However that is the trend we are trying to buck in Scotland.

“This is all possible with the tireless work of volunteers who give up so much of their lives to preserve Irish culture. The current successes are a testament to their devotion.”

Joining the Scottish branches in celebrating a great 2013 Fleadh were winners from London, Luton, Birmingham , Liverpool and Leeds.

West London’s Etaoin Rowe enjoyed triple honours, securing first place in the Lilting competition and second place in both Songs in English (Ladies, 15-18) and the Newly Composed English category. This brings the 17-year-olds All-Ireland first place total to eight, with 19 medals overall.

For pictures of those who travelled from Britain to take part see next week’s Irish Post, out Wednesday, August 28.

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The full list of British winners at this year’s All-Ireland Fleadh were:

Fiddle (O18)

Roisin Anne Hughes, CCÉ, Irish Minstrels Glasgow – 3rd

Button Accordion (12-15)

Conor Whelton, CCÉ West London – 2nd

Flute (12-15)

Mairi Therese Deighan, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 2nd

Piano Accordion (15-18)

Matthew Murphy, CCÉ South Birmingham – 2nd

Piano Accordion (O18)

Kevin Murphy, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 2nd

Mouth Organ (O18)

Jarlath O’Hara, CCÉ Leeds – 3rd

Banjo (15-18)

2nd Patrick Ballantyne, CCÉ Leagrave – 2nd

Piano (O18)

Kevin Murphy, CCÉ Irish Minstrel, Glasgow – 3rd

Miscellaneous (U12)

Ben Connolly, CCÉ North London – 3rd

Céilí Band Drums (15-18)

Liam Murphy, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 3rd

Céilí Band Drums (O18)

Sean O’Neill, CCÉ Johnny Doherty, Motherwell – 2nd

Accompaniment (12-15)

Kathleen Ewins, CCÉ St James the Great, Glasgow – 1st

Flute Slow Airs (U12)

Mark Docherty, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 3rd

Flute Slow Airs (15-18)

Hannah Irwin, CCÉ West London – 2nd

Whistle Slow Airs (Faoi 12)

Ruari Connor, CCÉ Liverpool – 3rd

Whistle Slow Airs (O18)

Martin Hughes, CCÉ, Johnny Doherty, Motherwell -3rd

Duets (U12)

Breanna Wilson, Jamie Conway, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 2nd

Trios (O18)

Roisin Ann Hughes, Patricia McArdle, Catriona mcArdle, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 2nd

Songs in Irish (Men) (O18)

Jim McElhone, CCÉ Irish Minstrels, Glasgow – 3rd

Songs in English (Ladies) (15-18)

Etaoin Rowe, CCÉ West London – 2nd

Newly Composed English (Any Age)

Etaoin Rowe, CCÉ West London – 2nd

Lilting (15-18)

Etaoin Rowe, CCÉ West London – 1st

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Siobhan Breatnach
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Siobhán Breatnach is the Editor-in-Chief of The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @SBreatnach

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