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Offaly musicians enjoy Fleadh success

Thursday, 31st August, 2017 4:40pm

Offaly musicians enjoy Fleadh success

Ademar O Connor from Edenderry, who came first in the twelve to fifteen, Button Accordion, Fiddle and Banjo.jpg

It was an exciting and very successful week of competitions, concerts, céilithe, sessions and more at the 2017 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann recently.

Among the winners were Luke Maher from Birr who came first in the fifteen to eighteen Flute Slow Airs at the 2017 Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis.

Another was Ademar O'Connor from Edenderry came first in the twelve to fifteen, Button Accordion, Fiddle and Banjo as well as second in the Miscellanous and third in the Melodion and Mandolin. 

Meanwhile, Patrick Finley from Atlanta Georgia, USA, came first in the fifteen to eighteen Fiddle Slow Airs. Patrick, whose late Grandad Joe Dowling was from Tullamore. 

During this past summer holidays while visiting family in Ireland, Billy Dowling of Tullamore and Patrick Finley of Atlanta shared a few tunes in his Grand-Uncle’s home.

Both are world champions of Irish Music. 

Billy Dowling won the senior Rogha Ghleas on the harmonica in Tullamore, 2007 at the age of 76, and Patrick Finley won the Under 18 fiddle competition in Ennis, 2016. 
And this year again, Patrick won the Under 18 Fiddle Slow Air competition. Billy along with his daughter Betty and husband Seamus Sheerin have were present for Patricks achievement last year.

A total of 450,000 people thronged the streets of Ennis in Clare over the nine days, while 12,000 people attended the special opening by Lord of the Dance, Michael Flatley.

The town pulsed with Irish rhythm and revelry as age-old traditions were celebrated by new generations and the vibrancy of the Fleadh Cheoil emanated throughout the streets.

This is the fourth time that the All-Ireland Fleadh has been held in Ennis.

It has previously been held in 2016, 1956 and 1977. 

Every year, the Fleadh provides a cultural meeting place for akk those who carry the great traditions of Irish music, song and dance in their hearts.

Frank Whelan, Chairman of the Fleadh Executive Committee said: “It has been a great privilege and an even greater responsibility to host this fantastic event. “

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