Shauna O’Leary Kilcummin CCÉ
My Life with Comhaltas

My name is Shauna O’Leary, I’m sixteen years of age and I became a member of Comhaltas when I was six years old. I started dancing when I was 5 years of age and I’m so grateful that my parents signed me up to Friday night dancing with John and Mary Moriarty. I can remember the excitement on a Friday evening, going to dancing and meeting up with my friends. Even now I still have that same excitement to go to practice and see my friends that I know I will have forever. We enjoy ourselves but we also work really hard to get the chance to dance on stage at an All Ireland Fleadh with the help of our trainer Adrian Moriarty with the Moriarty School of dancing. My friends at dancing are more like family to me. We are more than just a team and I enjoy knowing that they will always be there for me when I need there support. When I was nine I wanted to go to singing lessons and my mother took me to Martina Ryle O’Sullivan. Martina has been very supportive of me through my singing journey with Comhaltas. I love singing traditional songs as the story behind them encourages me to sing to my best ability. I remember every Thursday night singing classes were on and I stayed on for the second class with the older pupils which I think helped me a lot to progress as a singer. When you enter competitions through Comhaltas you meet a lot of new people from all over Ireland. I have made friends from many parts of the country by singing or dancing against them in competition which I think is great as I would have never known them otherwise. Between dancing and singing I have entered many competitions through Comhaltas and it’s thanks to Comhaltas for the achievements I have today. Winning the All Ireland Fleadh in 2016 for dancing in the 15-18 competition was nothing less than amazing. That feeling when Kilcummin was called out in first place will forever be one of the greatest moments of my life. Winning an all Ireland medal with my first cousin and my best friends will never be forgotten. Likewise for singing I have many memories. Singing in trad sessions and being placed in the All Ireland Fleadh was once again incredible. I can only thank Comhaltas for making these dreams possible. I want other children to have the same opportunities that I was given by Comhaltas which is why I have become a Youth Officer with Kilcummin Comhaltas. I have recently worked at Sult Na Nog and I have been a M.C at other competitions. I really do look forward to the Fleadh and also The Gathering every year. I think personally the best event to be at is Fleadh and I am so privileged that I am involved with Comhaltas. It holds a great place in my heart and I would be lost without it. I’d highly recommend people to become involved with such a great organisation.