Comhaltas and me
Kianan O’Doherty Cill Áirne CCÉ
When I first became involved in the disciplines of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann almost fourteen years ago I didn't at all know that I was going to be swallowed up by the renowned organisation. And still my life revolves around it and it will remain that way until the day I die. It all started when I was five years old, with Triona and Mairead Mangan and Patsy Moynihan, below in the cultural Mecca that is Spa GAA club, that is where the dancing classes are held. I can vividly remember walking through those doors every Thursday night, terrified that I'd forget my polka step and at the same time I was mesmerised by the advanced dancers. It was always my ultimate goal to be moved up into the advanced class and when that day finally came, I knew that it was only onwards and upwards. To my name at this present moment, I am the proud holder of 10 county Fleadh Cheoil titles, 5 Fleadh Cheoil Na Mumhan titles and one too many Silver and bronze medals at Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann. As well as that I am extremely lucky to hold 2 Scór Na nÓg national titles and a community games national title. My advice to any young musician, dancer or singer would to stick with it and give it your all because when you win a comhaltas medal, that’s an achievement to be proud of and to cherish. I love everything traditional really be it music, song or dance. I’m no stranger to the floor when it comes to céilís, as most people well know, I’m prone to knocking sparks off the floor. I enjoy to going to concerts, sessions and workshops, to be perfectly honest I’ll go wherever the trad takes me. At set dancing céilís we need more young people to keep it alive and promote our lovely sets. While competition is great it’s also very enjoyable to dance in a non-competitive environment; I’d have an awful boring life if I didn’t spend it dancing. I am completely honoured to be a member of the Cill Áirne branch of Comhaltas, a branch that has been very successful especially in the dancing competitions. Since 2008 when the dancing competitions were first introduced to the Fleadh Programme our branch has secured 22 All Ireland Set Dancing titles and 9 céilí dancing titles. We have had national success in every age group except for 12-15 ladies, hope this will happen soon. That’s not to mention the huge success we’ve had in the music competitions, with numerous gold medals being brought back to CCE Cill Áirne. Comhaltas allows you to broaden yours horizons, I have made lifelong friends with people from all over this country from attending competitions, sessions or be it adjudication seminars. Comhaltas creates a great opportunity for young people to meet new friends who they share interests with. Comhaltas has given so much to me over the years and I always want to give back. In 2016 I joined the CCE Cill Áirne committee and became the new youth officer. I hope to move up through the ranks in years to come and it’s my own personal aspiration to bring Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to Killarney in the near future, although I haven’t told the branch yet so maybe I should stay quite awhile.
I’d like to extend my best wishes to CCE Milltown on hosting Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí 2018.
“As ciunas tiocfaidh ceoil”