Port siblings cream of the crop

A BROTHER and sister from Portarlington showed their musical skill when they shone at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. Diarmiud and Ciara Faherty put many months of practicing to good use during the festival held in Cavan when between them, they won six medals.

A BROTHER and sister from Portarlington showed their musical skill when they shone at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. Diarmiud and Ciara Faherty put many months of practicing to good use during the festival held in Cavan when between them, they won six medals.

The pair won first place in the u12 duet competition, as well as winning a number of individual medals in other sections. Diarmuid also won first place in u12 melodian, u12 button accordian and u12 drums, while Ciara received third place in the u12 mandolin competition. Both Diarmuid and Ciara were supported throughout the competiton by their parents Carmel and Michael, brother Sean and sisters Claire and Mary Jo.

Speaking after the weekend, their mother Carmel said that both children were thrilled with the results.

“They were totally stunned. Diarmuid was on a high after winning the first competition and then won three more. They came back after the weekend trying out tunes they had heard and listening to CDs they bought during their week up there,” she said.

Both children ahve been playing music for only three years and it is Diarmuid’s second year to compete in the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. Diarmuid took the competition in his stride. “I wasn’t really nervous, I’ve been practicing lots every day and I knew my pieces” he said. Ciara also practiced on the mandolin which she has been playing for the last year and a half. “I practiced lots every day, and I also play the fiddle” she said.

Both children were in Cavan for the week along with other members of Laois Comhaltas for classes in their chosen instruments. “They had a fantastic week up there, and there were higher numbers there than last year” said Carmel who added that there was huge support from Portarlington on the weekend of the competition.

“There were two lines of Portarlington supporters in the Dome when Ciara was playing and they were roaring for her. You’re not going to play badly when you have that support,” she added before praising the support that came from the huge Port crowd.

“They knew where the kids were competing and went to cheer them all on,” she said.

Even though the children had been playing music all week, they returned to their home “absolutely delighted” according to Carmel. “They picked up their instruments this morning and played a few songs, and they have moved their Leinster medals out of the way to make room for their All Ireland medals”.