After a two-year hiatus Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann returned to the streets, hostelries and various venues throughout the town of Mullingar last week.
Indeed it was filled with nostalgia as Mullingar was where it all started in 1951.
Camross Comhaltas were part of that great occasion having qualified through Laois and Leinster in no less than 14 events involving 36 competitors.
They were also invited to entertain the crowds on the main Gig Rig on the Wednesday and Friday evenings.
On the competitions front Camross Comhaltas carried home 19 medals:
- Laura Scott – 1st in singing, 12-15
- Jack Higgins – 3rd on Mandolin, U-12
- Polly Nolan – 2nd on newly-composed tune, U-12
- Polly Nolan – 3rd on Flute, U-12
- David, Ellen and Maeve Scott – 3rd in Senior Trio
- Senan Shortall and Naoise Kettle – 3rd in Senior Duet
The highlight of the Fleadh down the years has always been The Senior Ceili Band competition that is staged on the final night and this year was no different.
In the glorious surroundings of the Cathedral of Christ the King Mullingar a capacity crowd of 5,000 people packed in for the much anticipated event.
Camross Comhaltas were there making their own history with a senior band, The Grange.
The branch had never competed at this level previously. They had won an U-18 All Ireland in 2003 but this was a whole new experience.
They were there representing their branch, county and province and not since the glory days of The Bridge Ceile Band with six All Ireland titles and the Triogue in 2011 with a 3rd place finish had Laois featured in a Senior Ceili Band Competition … no pressure!
The members of The Grange are all very young and are friends who have played music in different formats over the years.
The competition was live streamed by TG 4 to a world wide audience .
Not fazed by the occasion or their youth the band put in a powerful performance and by 10pm the sound of Lovely Laois was ringing out on the steps of the Cathedral as the Camross band was placed 2nd in the Senior Ceili Band competition 2022.
The band members are:
- Drummer – Sarah Burke
- Piano – Senan Shortall
- Concertina – Caoimhe Lowry
- Flute – Katie Scully, Tara Fahy
- Fiddles – Ellen Scott, Naoise Kettle, Lily kettle
- Banjo – David Scott
- Accordian – Conall Nevin
The band’s inspirational leader and musical director is Patricia Clarke and her experience in music terms is unrivalled.
The branch is also very lucky to have tutors Shona Nevin and Gina Reidy guiding younger members to go on and achieve great things and enjoyment with their music.
SEE ALSO – In Pictures: Seven Laois clubs enjoy incredible occasion at Croke Park Experience Day