Oireachtas booms on yet another visit to Killarney
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”.
Renowned singer and musician Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Dun Chaoin, West Kerry, performing live with her daughter, Laoise; and guitarist Matt Griffin.