PICTURES: Mountmellick Comhaltas plays on after 30 years

Margaret Culliton


Margaret Culliton

If music is the food of love and Mountmellick is a small town with a big heart, it is not surprising that our small Comhaltas group is forever woven into the fabric of Mountmellick.

Some 30 years ago an idea was formed by founder and president of Mountmellick CCÉ, Mary B Culliton, to give children and adults in the area an opportunity to learn Irish music and to be part of Irish Culture.

If you ask a person what Comhaltas is about, they may reference the tin whistle or a Fleadh, but it is so much more.

A small child who plays “Maggie in the Woods” may one day be the lead in a band as the “Lonesome Boatman” echoes through the hall or the haunting melodies of “Inis Oírr” may calm their minds after a busy day.

Music is ageless, timeless and has no boundaries. Comhaltas encourages present and future generations to continue to enjoy and pass on this rich tapestry of Irish life and traditions.

Mountmellick CCÉ celebrated 30 years this year. It was a busy year where we used every opportunity to recall the past 30 years.

We took part in Ceol na nÓg for beginner musicians, we walked in the St Patrick's Day Parade. Though we have played music during the parade before, this was our first time to walk in the parade.

While remembering our 30 years, we also remembered 100 years after the end of World War 1 at our Annual Concert in April.

After the concert we presented our members with our fabulous new hoodies.

We provided music for various religious events. In June we were host to the Laois Fleadh where our committee took to the challenge of organising and running the event.

We also had participation in the Leinster Fleadh in Bagnelstown. After the summer we returned with great gusto to our classes.

We headed to St Vincent's Hospital to join them in music and song for Cultural Day. Our musicians did a great job dressing up for and playing music at our Halloween Disco.

It has been a busy year for us and tonight we culminate in celebrating the coming Christmas Season with our 30th Party at Tom and Vron's.

We thank them for hosting our event and wish everyone a great night. The Chairperson welcomed everyone including founder and current Irish Officer Mary Culliton, first Fleadh medal winner in the Branch, Gráinne Culliton, our current committee and current members and wished them a great night.

There was music from all our classes, nourishment from Nora’s, and a surprise visit from Santa with gifts for all. It was a wonderful night.

We will return to our classes at the LOETB on Harbour Street on 8th January 2019. We look forward to another busy year with concerts, music sessions, St Patrick's Day events, Fleadhanna and so on.

We are a very active branch of Comhaltas and if you would like to join us we welcome everyone from beginner to advanced, child to adult.

When you think of an Irish person at home or abroad, our music is never far behind.

It is simply a reflection of ourselves, the strand woven from our past and beaming brightly into our future. Mountmellick Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is an integral part of that.

See the pictures in the gallery above by Denis Byrne.