European Citizen’s Prize for Comhaltas – MEPs present Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann with prestigious award at ceremony in Brú Ború

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was presented with the highly prestigious European Citizen’s Prize on Saturday at a special award ceremony at Brú Ború Cultural Centre, Cashel. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú Ardstiúrthóir CCÉ and Vincent Jordan, President CCÉ accepted the prize on behalf of Comhaltas from Lynn Boylan MEP after which Senator Ó Murchú addressed the full capacity gathering in the Brú Ború theatre. MEPs Martina Anderson, Matt Mc Carthy and Leah Ní Riada also contributed to the ceremony as did Francis Jacobs representing the European Parliament Information Office.

 

Each year the European Parliament awards ‘The European Citizen’s Prize’. This prize is awarded to citizens or organisations having contributed to promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the Member States; or to facilitating cross border or transnational cooperation contributing to the strengthening of a European spirit. The Sinn Féin MEPs nominated Comhaltas for the prize.

 

Pictured at Brú Ború Cultural Centre on Saturday at the ceremony to mark the European Citizen’s Prize Award to Comhaltas were L-R Gearóid Ó hÉadhra, Fleadh 2013 Doire, Sandra McLellan TD, Francis Jacobs European Parliament Information Office, Lynn Boylan MEP, Vincent Jordan President CCÉ, Matt Mc Carthy MEP, Leah Ní Riada MEP, Una Ó Murchú Stiúrthóir, Brú Ború, Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú Ardstiúrthóir CCÉ and Martina Anderson MEP

Pictured at Brú Ború Cultural Centre on Saturday at the ceremony to mark the European Citizen’s Prize Award to Comhaltas were L-R Gearóid Ó hÉadhra, Fleadh 2013 Doire, Sandra McLellan TD, Francis Jacobs European Parliament Information Office, Lynn Boylan MEP, Vincent Jordan President CCÉ, Matt Mc Carthy MEP, Leah Ní Riada MEP, Una Ó Murchú Stiúrthóir, Brú Ború, Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú Ardstiúrthóir CCÉ and Martina Anderson MEP

Founded in 1951 Comhaltas is world-renowned as Ireland’s leading cultural movement, dedicated to the promotion and development of traditional Irish music, song, dance and an Ghaeilge throughout the island of Ireland and worldwide. Today Comhaltas has 16 cultural centres throughout Ireland and provides services to 3m people annually worldwide. With 420 branches in 15 countries on 4 continents CCÉ plays a leading role in fostering strong links with the Irish Diaspora and those who consider themselves Irish. It continues to promote a positive image of Ireland on the international stage and promotes strong links with other cultures.

 

In 2013 Comhaltas achieved a milestone in the Peace Process when it brought Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Ireland’s premier cultural festival, to Derry. This event attracted a record attendance of 430,000 visitors and generated €50m for the region. This historic Derry All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil was the first time that the event was held in the North of Ireland in its 60-year history. It diminished barriers, embraced all communities and was an outstanding example of friendship, reconciliation and co-operation.

 

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann can rightly celebrate over 60 years of success. This success is the result of many thousands of individuals acting locally for the collective good. A shared vision of restoring the cultural traditions of Ireland to prominence in Irish life provided a common purpose, and the multitude of individual creative actions has woven a rich tapestry that is the heritage and strength of the movement today.

 

Comhaltas is very much an international movement, providing opportunities for young people in particular to enjoy and participate in the traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Through its extensive branch network in America, Britain, Australia and 12 other countries Comhaltas makes a contributuion to fostering strong links with the Irish Diaspora and to promoting a positive image of Ireland on the international stage. It also promotes strong links with other national cultures.

 

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was founded in 1951 with the objective of keeping our unique cultural traditions in all forms alive and returning them to a prominent position in Irish life. This waCs at a time when the future of indigenous culture was under threat after many years of neglect. As a result of the pioneering work of Comhaltas, public interest in our ancient traditions was rekindled and that torch, once lit, has burned with increasing intensity over the last five decades.

 

 

Today Comhaltas has 16 cultural centres covering the whole island of Ireland and provides services to 3m people annually worldwide.

 

The comprehensive programme of this cultural movement includes 44 Fleadanna Cheoil (cultural festivals) involving over 40,000 performers. It has an extensive on-line archive and is a contributor to Europeana Sounds. During the six months of the European Presidency in Ireland Comhaltas provided the entertainment.

 

Education is the bedrock of the Comhaltas success with up to 1,500 classes each week.

The cultural, social and economic impact of Comhaltas has been generously acknowledged.

 

The Irish language is central to the work of Comhaltas and a fully bi-lingual policy operates throughout the movement.

 

 

The Derry Fleadh

 

Comhaltas has diminished barriers and successfully promoted cross-communtity initiatives.

 

When in 2013 the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil was held in the six counties for the first time in its 60 year history it attracted a record attendance of 430,000 people and generated €50m for the region. It embraced all communities and was an outstanding example of friendship, reconciliation and co-operation.

 

The success of Comhaltas is acknowledged by the President of Ireland as follows:

“is fiú go mór, mórghníomh Chomhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, le seasca bliain anuas a chomóradh. Is maith atá ár mbuíochas tuillte agaibh. Tá sibh imithe ó neart go neart. Ní amháin gur chinntigh sibh inmharthanacht ár gceól traidisiúnta, ach, tá a chomóradh ar ardán domhanda, agus a chrostoirchiú le séanra eile ceoil, deimhnithe chomh maith.”

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