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Chair hosts reception in honour of Omagh Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann

17th September 2019

On Friday 13th September 2019, The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie hosted a reception at the Council Offices, Omagh in honour of the Omagh Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann.

Speaking at the reception, Councillor Currie said:

A  Aíonna oinigh, a chomhcomhairleoirí,

Mar Chathaoirleach na Comhairle Cheantair Fhear Manach agus na hÓmaí, ba mhaith liom fáilte a thabhairt romhaibh chun oifigí Comhairle anocht.

Distinguished Guests, fellow Councillors

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to the Council offices this evening.

I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to the members of the Omagh Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in whose honour this evening’s reception is being hosted.

Tonight, allows me the opportunity to publicly thank you for the wonderful job which you did in ensuring that the 2019 Fleadh Cheoil Thír Eoghain was such a marvellous success.  It also affords me the opportunity to reciprocate the warmth of the welcome I received from your Chairman, Brian and all the members of the organising committee, at the opening night of the Fleadh at the Christian Brothers Grammar School here in Omagh and what a truly memorable night that was. It was amazing to listen to the exceptional talent that was on display, the highlight of course being the performance of two of Ireland’s greatest exponents of traditional music, Nollaig Casey, and Omagh’s very own guitar virtuoso, Arty McGlynn. The opening concert, in my view, certainly set the tone for the weekend.

This was the first time that the Omagh Branch of Comhaltas had organised and hosted the county Fleadh in the county town and by all accounts it was an unqualified success, not only for the standard of the competition but also for the variety of the additional events which traditionally occur around a fleadh. These events were certainly varied and popular from the very successful tour of Clanabogan, home of the Mass Rock in the Glen, as immortalised in Felix Kearney’s wonderful song, to the parade and the massive crowd of musicians who participated in the Tune in the Street performing “The Mountains of Pomeroy” on the Courthouse Hill on the Sunday of the Fleadh.

The Fermanagh and Omagh district has a rich heritage in terms of traditional music and indeed throughout the district there are 14 Comhaltas branches together with the Regional headquarters at Dun Uladh helping to promote and preserve that heritage for future generations. Having the county fleadh in the county town of Omagh has, I believe, certainly raised awareness of the traditions of our music and song and I am confident that it will inspire even more people, both young and old to learn some of these beautiful songs and maybe pick up and learn to play an instrument so that the jigs, reels and slow airs can indeed be passed on to future generations.

I understand that members from of our local branches subsequently enjoyed significant successes not only at provincial level but also at the recent  Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Drogheda and I would like to offer my congratulations to them on the tremendous honour they have brought to themselves, their branches and of course the Fermanagh and Omagh district.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is rightly proud of its record in the promotion of the cultural heritage of all the people of the district and the Council remains committed to this ethos. As such I was delighted that the Council was able to provide significant support towards the hosting of the Tyrone Fleadh in Omagh this year and to playing a part in the success of one of the district’s largest cultural gatherings.

Once again, I am delighted to have been able to host this evening’s reception and to thank you, the organising committee, under the direction of your Chairman, Brian McKenna, for the huge amount of work you put in to such a successful 2019 Fleadh Cheoil Thír Eoghain.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh.