Autumn 1998


‘Thousands of young people are now playing Irish traditional music and this of a very high standard. Not even the most optimistic, back in the 1950s, could have envisaged this happening. This is a development which has attracted attention from many other countries and the promotion methods used by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann are being studied by other agencies internationally.

As we approach the new millennium, there is a further challenge to take this cultural revolution a step further. Outlets must continue to be provided for this musical talent in the areas of education, employment, tourism and recreation. This will require a generous re-appraisal of State policies and funding in these areas. Old stereotypes will have to be sidelined and the perceived toffee-nosed mentality will have to give way to more enlightened artistic assessment and appreciation.

The most enduring monument that could be erected for the new millennium would be the installation of a mature cultural environment which would acknowledge the major changes which have taken place on the artistic scene over the last 50 years. Such a development would be enthusiastically celebrated by the present young musical generation.