Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Society of the Musicians of Ireland) is the primary Irish organisation dedicated to the promotion of the music, song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

, dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

 and the language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 of Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. The name of the organisation is often abbreviated to Comhaltas or CCÉ. The organisation was founded in 1951 and has since been extremely successful in promoting Irish music and culture among the Irish people and the Irish diaspora. Its current Ardstiúrthóir (Director General) is Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú
Labhras O Murchú
Labhrás Ó Murchú is the Director-General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and a member of Seanad Éireann for Fianna Fáil.Born in County Tipperary, Ó Murchú was an unsuccessful candidate in the 1993 elections for the 20th Seanad, standing on the Cultural and Educational Panel...

. Today it has more than 400 branches worldwide, in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. Its total membership numbers some 75,000 people.


Comhaltas was founded in 1951 in Mullingar
Mullingar is the county town of County Westmeath in Ireland. The Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act of 1542, proclaimed Westmeath a county, separating it from Meath. Mullingar became the administrative centre for County Westmeath...

, County Westmeath
County Westmeath
-Economy:Westmeath has a strong agricultural economy. Initially, development occurred around the major market centres of Mullingar, Moate, and Kinnegad. Athlone developed due to its military significance, and its strategic location on the main Dublin–Galway route across the River Shannon. Mullingar...

 by a group of traditional pipers
Uilleann pipes
The uilleann pipes or //; ) are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland, their current name, earlier known in English as "union pipes", is a part translation of the Irish-language term píobaí uilleann , from their method of inflation.The bag of the uilleann pipes is inflated by means of a...

 who felt that the Irish musical tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

 was in decline. It was the most successful in a series of attempts around this time by lovers of Irish culture to revive the country's rich musical heritage and to publicise and bring it to a wider audience.

Aims and Goals

The aims and goals of Comhaltas were written at the organisation's foundation and have changed very little since. They are as follows:
1. To promote Irish Traditional Music in all its forms
2. To restore the playing of the Harp and Uilleann Pipes in the National life of Ireland
3. To promote Irish Traditional Dancing
4. To foster and promote the Irish language at all times
5. To create a closer bond among all lovers of Irish music
6. To co-operate with all bodies working for the restoration of Irish Culture
7. To establish Branches throughout the country and abroad to achieve the foregoing aims and objects


Comhaltas is responsible for organising the annual national Irish music festival/competition called the Fleadh Cheoil
Fleadh Cheoil
The Fleadh Cheoil is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann or more commonly known as "Comhaltas" ....

. Usually held in August, the 2005 and 2006 events were held in Letterkenny
Letterkenny , with a population of 17,568, is the largest town in County Donegal, part of the Province of Ulster in Ireland. The town is located on the River Swilly...

, County Donegal
County Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...

, and the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Fleadheanna were held in Tullamore
Tullamore is a town in County Offaly, in the midlands of Ireland. It is Offaly's county town and the centre of the district.Tullamore is an important commercial and industrial centre in the region. Major international employers in the town include 'Tyco Healthcare' and 'Boston Scientific'. In...

 in County Offaly. Cavan Town was the host town for the 2010 Fleadh. For students of traditional music, many participate in the Scrúdu Ceol Tíre (SCT) programme, a graded system of 12 progressive exams emphasising performance and music theory
Music theory
Music theory is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers' techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods...

. Teachers wishing to be certified in teaching Irish traditional music participate in the Teastais Teagaisc Cheol Tíre (TTCT) diploma course.
The North American "Province" includes over 40 branches in 7 regions. The province has an annual convention which moves to different cities. Attended by over 1000 people, there are workshops in various facets of the culture, often given by world class performers, and many informal sessions. Competitors in North America can qualify to compete in the All-Ireland championships (Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann) by competing one of the two regions. The Mid Altantic regional Fleadh covers the Eastern seaboard of U.S and Canada and the Midwest regional Fleadh covers everything else in North America.

External links

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