PORTARLINGTON Comhaltas has its largest entry ever in this year Leinster Fleadh Cheoil which was held in Portlaoise. Two ceili bands, u/15 Roscarrig and the u/18 Ard Glass gave excellent performances on the Saturday and Sunday. Congratulations to our Laois champions who also competed in dancing, solo, duet and Trio competitions over the weekend.
Friday night saw our four hand ceili dancers Katie O’Donnell, Niamh Downey, Fiona Dempsey and Fiadh Fitzpatrick securing their place in the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil when they were placed 2nd in the u/12 all girls set.
On the Saturday the under 15 Roscarrig ceili band consisting of; Niamh Tarleton, Mary Dunne, Senan Moran and Mary O’Donnell on fiddles, Roisin Fenlon and Sean Faherty on flutes, Eimear Gill on button accordion, Clare Faherty on concertina, Natalie Aremu on piano and Diarmuid Faherty on drums, gave an outstanding performance which secured their first Leinster title.
In the solo competitions Diarmuid Faherty secured his first Leinster title on the day winning 1st place in the u/12 drum competition and followed on later with two more Leinster titles taking 1st place in the u/12 button accordion and melodeon competitions. In the u/15 melodeon competition Clare Faherty came 2nd and also secured 2nd place in the button accordion competition.
Sean Faherty ensured his place at the All Ireland Fleadh when his was placed 2nd in the u/15 flute competition. Ciara Faherty added to the family’s achievement when she was placed 1st in the u/12 mandolin competition. Diarmuid and Ciara teamed up to win 1st place in the u/12 duet competition. Senan Moran added to the collection of Leinster medals by winning 1st place in the u/12 piano competition.
It was back to Portlaoise on Sunday for all the u/18 and senior competitors in the branch. The under 18 Ard Glass performance on stage was faultless with band members; Grainne Gill, Laura McManus and Katie Dunne on fiddles, Cliona Coughlan & Kate McManus on flutes, Cathail O’Connor on banjo, Blaithin Tynan on accordion, Clare Faherty on concertina, Daniel Delaney on drums and Ben Hogan on piano giving their all. However the judge’s decision on the day did not go their way and they narrowly missed out on being placed. Martin O’Connell ensured that the branch would be represented at senior level at the All Ireland, when his was placed 2nd in the senior button accordion competition.
Congratulations to all the musicians who participated in the fleadh and a special congratulation to the Portarlington Comhaltas competitors and the young musicians, singers & dancers from all the other Comhaltas branches in Laois who qualified for the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil which will be held in Cavan town in August.