Laois Fleadh in Camross celebrates high achievement in traditional music, song and dance

Camross Comhaltas host great cheoil and craic at the Laois Fleadh

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly

More than 430 entrants took part in the Laois County Fleadh held at Camross over the June bank holiday week-end.

The Fleadh is a celebration of our native traditional music, song and dance. Each year the Fleadh moves to a new venue in the county Camross CCE Branch were the hosts this year. This year saw Camross host the Fleadh for the fourth time and it was all made possible through the support of the whole Parish community.

The festivities commenced on Wednesday 31st May in Camross Hall at 7pm with our Oiche Dramaíocht  with pupils from Camross NS , Killanure NS and Shlí Dála Gaelscoil Ballaghamore each performing a short play as gaeilge.

A Trophy was presented to each school for their efforts and all the children received a goody bag. Foras na gaeilge packs were also given to each school. The Comhaltas national PRO Pat Flanagan presented the trophies and spoke about the importance of keeping our native language alive.

On Thursday night the 1st June in the Camross Inn our guitar / folk group classes both junior and Adult along with teacher Martin Delaney provided a great nights entertainment and a great night was had by all. Thanks to Mary Ann Coyne for providing the food on the night.

The Fleadh was officially opened on Saturday morning at 11 am by Chairman of Laois County Board P.J.Phelan who welcomed everyone and wished all the competitors best of luck in their competitions over the week-end.

All  Grúpaí Cheoil and Ceilí Band  competitions for age groups u/12, 12-15, 15-18 and O/18 took place and finished at 6.30pm. We also had competitions for Bodhrán and Drums on Saturday.

The Fleadh Mass was held in the parish church at 8pm in conjunction with the Exam Students of the parish. Celebrant was Fr.Lalor readings were done by Comhaltas members and Students and beautiful Music and singing was provided by members of Camross CCE. Thanks to Patricia Scott for organising the mass.

On Sunday from 2pm all the individual competitions were held for Button Accordion, Banjo, Fiddle, / Fiddle Airs,Flute, /Flute Airs, Tin Whistle,/ Tin Whistle Airs,Uileann Pipes/Pipe Airs, Harp/Harp Airs, Concertina, English and Irish Singing, and Newly composed Songs, Lilting, Comhra Gaeilge, Melodion,Trio’s Duets, Newly Composed Tune, and StoryTelling.

The competitions were brought to a close by the Céilí Dancing and the Set Dancing. Uachtarán an Comhaltas Ann Finnegan was present at our fleadh this year and thoroughly enjoyed our singing and harp Competitions.  She also presented medals to the all the dancers.

Monday saw the end of a fantastic Laois Fleadh weekend when the All Ireland senior Ceilí band winners 2015/2016 Shandrum  raised the roof in Camross to a packed hall for a super evening of dancing, Thanks to Declan Doocey for calling the sets.

On behalf of Camross CCE Branch and the Laois Fleadh Committee thanks were extended to Fr Lalor, Ms Horan Principal of Camross NS, Camross GAA , Martina Ryan KUDZ Kids Creche, and the Parish Hall Committee for the use of the facilities. We thank all our sponsors and Eddie Phelan Restaurant who provided the food. A huge thanks to all who helped make the event such a success and for all the cups of tea we had to keep us all going.

Competitors were wished the best of luck when they go on to represent their county at the Leinster Fleadh Cheoil in Ballymahon Co.Longford from Sunday 9th of July with a Ceili in the Longford Arms Hotel from 4-7pm music by Rise the Dust.

Various activities will take place there is a Fleadh workshop on Wednesday in St Mathew’s NS Ballymahon in the week leading up to the Leinster Fleadh Competitions which will be held from 14th July to 16th July 2017.

Details are on Facebook or www.Leinster Website.

Photographer Denis Byrne went to the Fleadh for the Leinster Express. PJ Phelan and Crescentia Phelan also submitted photographs.