All Ireland Fleadh success for local performers
Performers from the south Armagh area enjoyed excellent success at last weekend’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, held in Ennis, Co. Clare, with members of the Ring of Gullion and An Bonnán Buí Comhaltas groups competing in a range of disciplines.
The magnificent achievement of 12-year-old Iarla McMahon from Crossmaglen marked the pinnacle of the honours when he was crowned All-Ireland champion in the Under 12 Uilleann Pipes competition.
Iarla’s mum, Tracey Conway, is a talented musician in her own right and is tin whistle tutor with the Comhaltas group. She says she is “extremely proud” of her young son’s achievement, adding: “Iarla has worked so hard to prepare for this and we are all so happy for him. The standard of musicianship at this U12 level, given that children from all over the country are now playing with a sense of maturity and competence generally attributed to players many years their senior, is simply staggering.”
Iarla has enjoyed previous success at the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, winning the U12 Tin Whistle title in 2014. And this year he added to his accolades by taking third place in the same competition.
Another participant flying the flag for Crossmaglen was Pearse Larkin who scooped two titles, taking second place in the U15 Sean Nós Singing in Irish and the U15 Songs in English.
Meanwhile, the Ring of Gullion CCE was well represented with 11-year-old Breandan O’Sullivan taking second place in the U12 Whistling; Aodh Murphy from Silverbridge, also coming second in the age 9-11 Irish Conversation competition and dancers from the Majella McEnteggart School of Dance taking third place in the Over 18 Ladies 4-Hand Reel.
St Brigid’s Accordion Band, Jonesborough, runners up in the Over 18 Accordion Marching Band competition, concluded the local representation on the winners’ podium.
Congratulations is extended to all those who represented the area with such distinction.