Fleadh Cheoil Liatroma 2008
30 April 2008, 4:04 PM GMT
Leitrim – LEITRIM GOES FLEADH!
The 2008 Fleadh Cheoil Liatroma was hosted this year by Drumsna (Droim ar Snamh). The village of Drumsna nestles on the banks of the River Shannon. Famous people connected with Drumsna include the famous explorer Surgeon Thomas Heazle Park. Park took part in the Nile expedition together with Stanley. Author Anthony Trollope came to work in Drumsna Post Office in 1843 and found the inspiration for the first of his 50 novels in the village.
The catholic church was build in 1845 by Fr. George Gearty. He was an accomplished fiddle player and Irish step dancer, in fact some of the building fund for the church was raised by his dancing in Rome and France!
So Drumsna is no stranger to traditional Irish music. In fact 2008 saw them hosting their sixty Fleadh Liatroma.
The Drumsna Branch of C.C.E was founded in 1978 by the late Thomas James McLoughlin. Weekly sessions were held prior to the meetings and sometimes as many as 20 musicians were present. “Singing Postman” Michael O’Rourke (deceased) was usually there to render a few ballads.
So this year the hard-working committee of CCE Drumsna and the Leitrim County Board set about organising Fleadh Cheoil Liatroma 2008. As all you hard-working County Secretaries out there know there is a mountain of work involved but we got through it all in time for the opening on the 25th April.
CCE Drumsna decided, for the first time, to bestow an honorary tribute to Thomas P. McLoughlin (accordian player). Thomas was born in Effrinagh in 1924. He learned Irish music from his Mother at an early age. Tom eventually headed for England where he met and married Joan McKeon and they have a family of three sons and three daughters. Down through the years the McLoughlin kept up the tradition of Irish music and dance in Luton and each summer travel home to Ireland where they usually came to the session in T.J. McLoughlin’[s pub in Drumsna. Thomas now in his eighties was delighted to receive the special medallion and certificate of appreciation at a function in the newly re-opened McLoughlins .
While the presentation was taking place in McLoughlin the music kicked off across the road in Garveys led by Brian Mostyn, Tony Fahy, George Eggleston and friends. It turned into a great session with some fine two-hand dances by Mary and Deirdre, a half set and lots of waltzes. There were also some fine singers present who were prevailed upon to give a song.
The following day the under 10 competitions in Fiddle, Button Accordian, Tin Whistle were held along with the Comhra Gaeilge competitions. In the evening the Old School resounded with the sound of sean nos dancing as the dancing competitions got under way.
By Saturday evening lots of musicians from far and wide had made their way to Drumsna and every pub resounded to the sound of jigs and reels and the odd hornpipe!
On Sunday after the Fleadh mass the real business of the Fleadh got under way with the main competitions taking place. After the first mad rush to the Fleadh Office to register things went along very smoothly and the competitions were all over by 5 pm, something of a record.
Meanwhile back on the main street the official opening was taking place with the colourful Kiltubrid Pipe Band marching down the main street. The crowd on the street and the dignitaries on the platform were treated to a performance by the Annaduff School Tin Whistle Band conducted by music teacher Padraig Sweeney from Drumshanbo.
The sessions in the pubs were once again in full swing, old friends met and shared a tune and friendships were struck up until in the small wee hours the 2008 Fleadh Cheoil Liatroma wound down.
Congratulations to all the young (and not so young) musicians who took part in competitions, its not an easy thing to play in front of an adjudicator and audience. We wish those musicians going forward to the Connacht Fleadh in Westport the best of Leitrim luck, go néirí an t-adh libh go léir.
Next year its Drumshanbo’s turn to host the Fleadh – see you all there!
Deirdre Parnell PRO Connacht Council And Leitrim County Secretary.
Posted By Leitrim