Good day for our harpists at festival
IT WAS a good day for Wexford harpists at the recently-held O’Carolan Harp Festival in Nobber, Co Meath. The festival, now in its 30th year, has consistently found a spot in the diaries of Ireland’s top harpists.
No doubt the fact that Nobber is the birthplace of Turlough O’Carolan acts as a draw also.
The community-run festival combines concerts with workshops and competitions. This year’s star attractions included Gabriella Dall’Olio, Laoise Kelly with Tiarnan Ó Duinnchinn, Cormac and Éamonn de Barra, The Casey Sisters, Donal Lunny, Zoë Conway and Máirtín O’Connor.
County Wexford had representatives from three Comhaltas branches competing. Between them they came away with a fine haul of awards.
Mollie Carroll (Gorey/Ballygarrett Comhaltas) took the top prize U12. In second place was fellow branch member Niamh Byrne while Sinéad O’Reilly (Loch Garman Comhaltas) placed 3rd. Caoimhe Moran (Bannow Comhaltas) picked up an award in the 12-15 age group. Hilda Browne, Gorey/ Ballygarrett Comhaltas, was victorious in the 15-18 category.
The trio of Niamh Byrne, Hilda Browne, and Caoimhe Moran took the Harps a Wonder title. All three, along with Mollie Carroll, are members of Cairde Ceoil Harp Ensemble.
The winning team in the Harps Wonder Competition at the O’Carolan Festival with Aileen Kennedy. From left, Niamh Byrne, Hilda Browne and Caoimhe Moran.