25 Sept 2022

New beginning at Comhaltas as trad proves more popular than ever in Laois


Moya, Edel and Niamh demonstrating some pf the instruments at Portlaoise Comhaltas open evening recently

The gift of music was eagerly taken up at Portlaoise Comhaltas open evening recently with many young people signing up to learn traditional Irish music and song the Comhaltas way.

Laois Comhaltas believes this demand for places in the town and the other the eight Comhaltas branches in the county is reassuring as they return to normal classes in all areas.

The Portlaoise branch is planning a busy programme the highlight of which will be a commemoration of the establishment of the Free State - Éire in December1922. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

PICTURED: Eden, Edel and Elaine demonstrating the instruments at Portlaoise Comhaltas open evening recently

“This will be an opportunity for our teenagers and young adults to research the cultural scene in Ireland around that time and incorporate their findings in a concert programme under direction of Áine McGeeney and the members of the teaching panel” said PJ Phelan, Chairperson.

A strong emphasis on participation in music, song and dance for it’s own sake has been a hallmark of the Portlaoise branch since it’s foundation in 2009. Major commemorations in 20016 and 20018 are examples where large ensembles performed to mark significant occasions and entertain large audiences.

Playing and dancing on the street and on the main stage at FCH in Mullingar was every bit as rewarding as taking part in the competition finals according to many of the seisiún group.

Recently, the members held a bbq to celebrate one of the busiest years in the branch history having hosted the county fleadh with Ratheniska colleagues, the Leinster Fleadh and street festival, culminating at Mullingar where all Ireland success in Music and Dancing rewarded the efforts of teachers, committee and committed parents. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

Pictured: Brothers in music, looking forward to classes at Portlaoise Comhaltas

There are so many opportunities for young people and so many attractions and parents make great efforts to benefit their children.

Katherine Igoe, branch teacher, points to the skills of concentration, memory and teamworking gained from the Comhaltas method of teaching traditional music, which are automatically transferred to other learning and all aspects of the life of a musician.

“Being able to play and understand the language of music is a gift for life” concludes Portlaoise branch PRO Christy Bannon.

A very limited number of places are still available, enquiries between 5-7pm at St Francis School, Borris Rd, on Tuesday or email

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.