Latest News

Sligo County Fleadh 2011


Death of renowned musician Peter Horan


Great results from All Ireland Fleadh 2010 (New)


Ballintogher Festival Details (New)


Seamus McCormack elected Comhaltas President


The Battle of the Books


See a video of Fred Finn and Peter Horan
















Ceol na nÓg Sligeach:

The Battle of the Books


a suite of music composed by Michael Rooney

Sligo musical group Ceol na nÓg performed the premiere of show The Battle of the Books in The Southern Hotel Sligo 

The group comprise young Sligo musicians and dancers in what was a spectacular production. The production is a specially-commissioned music and dance show composed by Sligo harper and composer Michael Rooney.

The Battle of the Books

Saint Colmcille copied a book while a guest of St. Finian. Finian claimed the copy as well as the book, but Colmcille refused. The dispute was brought to the High King of Ireland whose edict was: ’To every cow its calf and to every book its copy’. In consequence, in 561 AD, the High King and Colmcille engaged in battle on the slopes of Benbulben. Aided by an angel, Colmcille won. Thousands of men were slain and the King forced to concede the copy of the psalter to Colmcille.


Its premiere took place on Saturday, November 25, in the Sligo Southern Hotel at 8pm. This performance was the highlight in a concert that included musicians Michael Rooney and June McCormack, musicians from the Sligo Academy of Music and its director Niamh Crowley.
Over 40 of Sligo’s finest young musicians and dancers experienced the excitement of premiering an original composition based on one of Sligo’s greatest pieces of folklore.

The evening included a wine and finger food reception while proceeds went to Ceol na nÓg and Sligo Academy of Music.

Ceol na nÓg Sligeach was formed last January to support and develop the talents of young musicians in Sligo and to provide various forums to showcase their music.

It is comprised of the best of the emerging traditional musicians from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann branches in Sligo and Leitrim and young classical musicians of the Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta Orchestra. They commissioned Michael Rooney to compose The Battle of the Books suite.

The Mary Gallagher School of Dancing is renowned for producing prize-winning dancers at national and international competitions

Performers on the night:


featuring Michael Rooney and June McCormack

Sligo Acadamy of Music

Flute Ensemble and Sinfonietta Orchestra

Ceol na nÓg, Sligeach

featuring over 40 traditional/classical musicians and dancers

Tel. +353-(0) -71-9162962 or +353-(0) -71-9142990



Click below to view and hear  our prize-winning  Grúpa Cheoil, which was managed by June McCormack and also a snippet from the Battle of the Books performance. 



(Requires Windows Media Player)

(about 8 mBytes)



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Great results for Fred Finn Branch and Sligo competitors at All Ireland 2010

Congratulation to all the Fleadh medal winners from both the Fred Finn Branch and from County Sligo.

Here is the full list. Congratulations to all 

All Fleadh Results at

Fred Finn C.C.E. Medal Winners

Concertina  12-15                  1st   Ann Marie Bell           CCÉ Fred Finn

Whistle Slow Airs 12-15    2nd   Charlene Ní Scanláin, CCÉ Fred Finn

Harp 12-15                         2nd   Niamh McGloin,         CCÉ Fred Finn

Duets - 15-18                            2nd  Elsa Ní Cheallaigh & Niamh Ní Fhearghail, CCÉ Fred Finn

Trio 12-15                                     2nd  Áine Martin, Hannah agus Nell Ní Cheallaigh, CCÉ Fred Finn  

Harp 15-18                           3rd   Elsa Ní Cheallaigh,        CCÉ Fred Finn


Medal Winners from other Branches in Sligo

Songs in English (Men) -O18                  1st          Cian Ó Ciaráin,              CCÉ Baile an Mhóta,

Melodeon                     O18                              1st         Damien MacAonghusa,  CCÉ Tíreragh

Whistling                    Faoi 12                              1st         Oisín Ó Conghaile,         CCÉ Tireragh

Flute Slow Airs          Faoi 12                   2nd       Cónan Marren,             CCÉ Sligeach Theas

Céilí Dancing Ladies 4-hand, Faoi 12       2nd       Tireragh A,                    CCÉ Sligeach

Fiddle - O18                                               3rd        Caoimhe Ní Chiaráin     CCÉ Baile an Mhóta

Lilting- O18                                                              3rd             Caoimhe Ní Chiaráin     CCÉ Baile an Mhóta

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Heartiest congratulations to Seamus McCormack, presently Chairman of the Fred Finn Branch, who has been elected the new National President of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, becoming only the fourth person from the province of Connacht to have previously held the office of President since the foundation of Comhaltas in 1951, the last having been the late Seamus de Brún from Roscommon from 1973 to 1976.

Seamus has been involved in the promotion of Irish culture for many years.

He is a founder member of the Fred Finn Branch and has served as branch chairman since 1989.

Through the branch classes hundreds of young people in the Sligo area have been introduced to Irish music, song and dance. Many branch members have become household names in the traditional music world and in 2008 two senior ceili bands representing the branch were placed first and second at the All Ireland Fleadh in Tullamore.

Seamus put the original Innisfree Ceili Band together in 1989 and this band went on to win an All Ireland title at underage level.

The Innisfree Ceili Band became the first band from West of the Shannon to win a senior title in more than forty years, followed by the Dartry Ceili Band in second place.

Seamus directs the branch music class which is conducted on a weekly basis in Gael Scoil Cnoc na Ré, Maugheraboy. The branch operates a music instrument bank which gives young people access to fiddles, flutes, concertinas, accordions and harps. Bands and grupaí cheoil are prepared for participation in the Fleadh competitons every year.

Seamus has been chairman of Comhaltas in the province of Connacht since 2001 and a member of the Árd Comhairle, the central executive of Comhaltas. He is also chairman of Meitheal an Iarthair, the body which has spearheaded the development of Ceolaras Coleman in Gurteen as a regional resource centre for Comhaltas.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was established in 1951 to promote Irish traditional music, song, dance and the Irish language. Today there are in excess of 415 branches of Comhaltas in fifteen countries on four continents.

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Peter Horan RIP

Sad to report that great South Sligo musician Peter Horan passed away 17th October 2010.

Peter Horan (born 1926, Killavil,County Sligo) was an Irish flute and fiddle player who was known for having developed a unique style influenced by the local musicians or the South Sligo Area. For nearly 30 years performed as a duet with the famous fiddler Fred Finn. More recently he performed with Sliabh Luachra fiddler Gerry Harrington and the pair released 2 CD's called "Fortune Favors the Merry," and "The Merry Love to Play" accompanied by Ollie Ross on the piano. He continued to perform and teach in Ireland and at Irish arts festivals around the world, including the Catskills Irish Arts Week and the Ennis Trad Festival.

In 2002 he was given the Irish Music Awards Hall of Fame award. In 2009, St. Angela's College Sligo and NUI Galway recognised and honoured Peter as one of South Sligo's most talented and best known traditional musicians by awarding him an Honorary Master of Music. For "His authentic, natural style, which is firmly rooted in the Coleman tradition, stands out as a unique musical talent and resource within our region and our country.. . .

Kind and generous in life, Peter lived a long and active life. As a mourner said at his funeral, "Peter lived every day twice" " Peter Horan died on 17th of October 2010 in the North West Hospice, Sligo and he will be missed by all his family , friends and the traditional music world.
God bless, Peter. An chuid eile i Síochána.

Music of Sligo (with Fred Finn)
Music at Matt Molloy's (various artists), 1992
The Mountain Road - Tune Popular in South Sligo (various artists)
Fortune Favors The Merry (with Gerry Harrington), 2004
The Sound of Coleman Country Various Artists Featured Appearance (2006)
The Merry Love to Play (with Gerry Harrington), 2007

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   Fleadh Cheoil Contae Shligigh

 Tuesday 31st May - 5th June 2011. Hosted jointly by Fred Finn & Sligo Town Branches of Comhaltas. Download Entry Form

bulletFriday June 3rd - Official Opening & Traditional Concert
bulletSaturday June 4th - All Solo Competitions - 10.30am
bulletSunday June 5th - All Group Competitions - 11.00am
bulletFull Programme Later
bulletPlease note - closing date for Fleadh entries is Thursday 21st April.
bulletNo entries will be accepted after this date or on the day of Fleadh.
bulletSame date for sending articles & photographs for Fleadh programme
bulletPlease forward entries and correct fees to Secretary, Teresa McCormack, Alvelid, Ballintogher, Co. Sligo before closing date (Thurs 21st April).


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