Northern Ireland

Mary McAleese to launch Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s 2030 Prospectus

Former president Mary McAleese. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA
Former president Mary McAleese. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA

Former president Mary McAleese will today launch a new seven-year plan for the body promoting and preserving Irish music, dance and language.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s 2030 Prospectus will be unveiled in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, which is this year hosting the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

Comhaltas was founded in Mullingar in 1951, where the inaugural al-Ireland Fleadh was held the same year.

More than half-a-million people are expected to attend this year's event, which generates in the region of €60 million (£52m) in terms of economic spin-off.

Themed around “connecting communities through our culture”, the new strategy sets out the organisation’s plans for the next seven years, providing a roadmap that aims to enhance Comhaltas’ presence across the island and further afield. 

The prospectus reflects on the achievements of the past 70 years in restoring and reviving Irish cultural traditions, while also building on Comhaltas' global impact.

Mrs McAleese is expected to cite Derry's hosting of the all-Ireland fleadh in 2013, as an example of Comhaltas’ contribution to reconciliation, particularly north of the border.

“Comhaltas is not just about the musical instruments, the competitions, the dancing or story-telling or singing or the Irish language - it is fundamentally about sharing them, extending the love of them to the audiences, befriending one another, building communities of mutual love of Irish culture whether in Belfast or Boston, Dublin or Dubai, Mullingar or Moscow,  Scotland or Sydney," she will say.

Comhaltas president Éamonn Ó hArgáin will tell the launch that the prospectus will set out where the organisation wants be in 2030 "in relation to our role in protecting Ireland's rich cultural traditions".