Friday 24 November 2017

Wexford gets CCE branch...for third time

Paddy Berry, chairman.
Paddy Berry, chairman.

A little bit of history was made when, at a meeting at the Talbot Hotel last week, Wexford town agreed to set up its very own branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann - for the third time!

The Pike Room was full to bursting with up to 60 enthusiasts and practitioners of Irish music, singing dancing and story-telling, coming together to show their support for re-forming a branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in the town.

Wexford town was part of the CCÉ network when the organisation was first established back in 1951. The counter-culture years of the following decade saw the branch dissolve, or at least go under-cover. The general resurgence of interest in our culture and heritage of the mid-70s saw the branch re-activated and continue on into the heady '90s.

Now, over 50 years on from the formation of the first branch, the Wexford town link in the CCÉ chain has, once again, been re-established. Third time lucky!

The meeting heard about the wealth of young musical talent throughout the county, many of whom have performed with distinction at Fleadh Ceoil na hÉireannn and other national events. Most owe their success to having access to local music schools and experienced tutors.

Chairman Paddy Berry expressed his delight at the number of traditional music schools operating in, and around, Wexford town. He suggested that the new branch would be of great benefit to these. The meeting agreed that the main focus of Wexford town CCÉ would be on the provision of opportunities in the traditional arts for all with the emphasis on na daoine ogá. Traditional musician John Roche, proprietor of Minstrel Music and one of those active on Wexford's last CCÉ committee, says the current surge in the numbers of young people actively involved in traditional music mirrors a similar development seen in the 1970s. Paddy Berry was elected Chairman, John Roche, Vice-Chair. Ger Carthy, Treasurer and Padraic Larkin as PRO.

Wexford People

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