Oireach­tas booms on yet an­other visit to Kil­lar­ney

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By TADHG EVANS

WORTH an es­ti­mated €8mil­lion to the lo­cal econ­omy dur­ing the most chal­leng­ing time of the year tourism-wise, there’s no doubt that Oireach­tas na Samhna has done more than its bit for Kil­lar­ney over the past decade.

Dubbed the most Ir­ish fes­ti­val of them all, An tOireach­tas and its thou­sands of fol­low­ers paid their sev­enth visit in nine years to Kerry’s tourism cap­i­tal last week. A huge chunk of the week­end’s events took place be­tween the INEC, the Gle­nea­gle Ho­tel, and the Bre­hon Ho­tel, and Br­effni Inger­ton of the Gle­nea­gle Group was once again de­lighted with how the five day-cel­e­bra­tion went.

“Be­tween those three venues, we had close on 180 events over the four and a half days,” she said. “All re­ports said it was a huge suc­cess; I think it was the big­gest Oire­ac­thas to date.

“There were high oc­cu­pancy rates in the three venues, of course, but the re­ports were the same across the town and par­tic­u­larly on the Muck­ross road.”

But An tOireach­tas is first and fore­most a cel­e­bra­tion of Ir­ish cul­ture, mu­sic, lan­guage, broad­cast­ing, lit­er­a­ture, and the arts, and there was no short­age of home wins across the wide range of events.

Among the lo­cal win­ners was Sibéal Ní Shéaghdha (scéalaíocht faoi-12), who took first place ahead of Scoil an Fheirtéaraigh school­mate Seán Dalby, while Baile an Fheirtéaraigh’s Tomás Ó Lúing won the Corn Neidí Frainc Mhic Gri­anna for the Príomh­chomós­tas Scéalaíochta.

Aside from them, there were six other sec­ond-place fin­ishes in the com­pe­ti­tions for the King­dom on home soil, while there was also a strong Kerry flavour run­ning through the Gradaim Chu­marsáide. Camino na tSáile, with its strong Kerry fo­cus, won the prize for Sraith Telifíse na Bliana, while lo­cal fig­ures He­len Ní Shé (Raidió na Gaeltachta) and Seán Mac an tSíthigh (RTÉ and TG4) won prizes for Pearsa Raidió na Bliana and Iriseor na Bliana re­spec­tively.

Ceatí Ní Bheildiúin, Máirín Uí Shé, Liam Ó hÓgáin (two prizes), and Alanna Nic Láimh were also amongst the week’s lo­cal win­ners through their re­spec­tive lit­er­ary ef­forts.

With An tOireach­tas set to leave the county for Ci­ty­west, Dublin in 2019, and Gal­way in 2020, it’s un­known when it’ll be back – but as Ms Inger­ton said: “we’ll be very keen to have it back”.

Mu­si­cians Conor O’Lough­lin, left and Brian O’Leary (grand­son of the late leg­endary Johnny O’Leary). Photo by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

Photo by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

Renowned singer and mu­si­cian Muire­ann Nic Amh­laoibh, Dun Chaoin, West Kerry, per­form­ing live with her daugh­ter, Laoise; and gui­tarist Matt Grif­fin.

Sad­hbh Nic Amh­laoibh (front) with her mom, Muire­ann, in the back­fround. Photo by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van.

Renowned mu­si­cian and broad­caster Pádraig Ó Sé.

Spa mu­si­cians Mor­gan Pearse, Gearóid Curtin, David Healy, and Seán Ó Laoithe. Photo by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van.

Pádraig Ó Sé in­ter­view­ing Sea­mus MacGear­ailt about his award -in­ning ’Mi­cilín Muc’ range of sausages. Photo by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

All Ire­land Cham­pion Set Dancers from Spa GAA Club. Photo by Va­lerie

Ciara Ní Chearb­haill, en­joy­ing the mu­sic and chat. Photo by Va­lerie

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