Comhaltas is a cultural movement concerned with the promotion and preservation of the music, dance and language of Ireland. As the world grows more complex, it seems to us more important than ever that we take a strong stand in maintaining a living folk tradition.
Our Bunreacht (Constitution) defines the aims and objectives of our movement as follows:
- To promote Irish Traditional Music in all its forms;
- To restore the playing of the Harp and Uilleann Pipes in the National life of Ireland;
- To promote Irish Traditional Dancing;
- To foster and promote Traditional singing in both Irish and English;
- To foster and promote the Irish language at all times;
- To create a closer bond among all lovers of Irish music;
- To co-operate with all bodies working for the restoration or Irish Culture;
- To establish Branches throughout the country and abroad to achieve the foregoing aims and objects.
These goals are not the work of a day to accomplish, or even a lifetime. Nor are they the work of a person or handful of people. It is our thousands of volunteers and teachers who live these goals day by day, week by week and year by year. To them we owe an enormous debt of gratitude.
Irish traditional culture has become more popular in recent years, and the Uilleann Pipes and Harp no longer appear to be on the verge of extinction. We have a healthy network of Branches, and we maintain close links with other guardians of Irish culture. To the extent that these goals have been accomplished over the years, we extend a very hearty thanks to the volunteers, teachers and leaders both within and outside the movement who have made these successes possible. However, knowing the magnitude of our task, we pledge to keep these goals foremost in our minds as we march into the uncharted territory of the 21st century.
The mission statement embodied in the new Comhaltas Development Programme summarises our ambitions for the future as follows:
Cultural traditions should be an enriching part of the lives of Irish people everywhere, particularly our young people; they should be a living, highly visible and vibrant part of society; they should be easily accessible to all; and their unique social, cultural and economic benefits should be fully realised by communities and individuals throughout the country and in Irish communities abroad.