02/06/12 Minister Mc Ginley visits Strandhill During Fleadh Cheoil Chondae Shligigh
Dinny Mc Ginley T.D., Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, will today (Saturday 2nd June) present medals to some of the prize-winners at Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s annual Sligo County Fleadh. This is the fourth year Fleadh Cheoil Chondae Shligigh has been held in Strandhilll and is jointly hosted by the Fred Finn and Sligo Town branches of Comhaltas.
The Fleadh offers an extended programme of cultural activities, and traditional musicians, singers and dancers, young and old, competed in the various solo and group competitions, all hoping to qualify for the Connaught Fleadh which will take place in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway from July 2 -8. Minister of State McGinley acknowledged the contribution made by all involved – Comhaltas, the wider community and local businesses – in ensuring the Fleadh was such a success.
On Saturday, however, it was the prize-winners of the “Comhrá Gaeilge” competitions who took centre-stage when the Minister presented them with their medals. During his brief speech Minister McGinley said:
“I congratulate all those who took part in the Comhrá Gaeilge competition and applaud their interest in and commitment to the Irish language. I would also like to compliment Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, now in its 61st year, on its specific commitment to the further development and promotion of Irish and the traditional arts in the community.”
Comhaltas provides a service to more than 3 million people annually and the movement is central to the Irish Diaspora in Britain, North America and even further afield. The organization is also central to cultural tourism in Ireland – a survey commissioned by Fáilte Ireland in Cavan showed that the 2010 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil generated €34.9m for the local economy.
During the opening concert of the Fleadh special Gaeilge Abú medallions, commissioned by Comhaltas, were presented to a number of Sligo people who were acknowledged for their special commitment to the promotion of the Irish language over the years. The Minister of State said:
“This ceremony is most fitting as 2012 has been designated as “Bliain na Gaeilge an Chomhaltais” and all branches of CCÉ are working towards the targets outlined in the organisations “Plean Gníomha don Ghaeilge 2011-2013”.