Connacht Fleadh 2004

            Kilnadeema branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann had a large representation once again at the Connacht Fleadh, which was held in Ballinasloe on the first weekend of July. Forty-eight members represented the branch in a large number of competitions. Best result of the day was the first ever victory in a ceili band competition achieved in the 15-18 age group. The senior ceili band were placed second and also qualified for the All-Ireland. They are the first senior ceili band from Galway, for a number of years, to play in the in the most prestigious competition at the All-Ireland fleadh. Last year the 15-18 grupai cheoil qualified for the first time and this years group were placed second to also have the honour to compete in Clonmel at the end of August. In the solo competitions, best achievement of the day was the double victory by David Howley, who won the 12-15 banjo and mandolin titles. These competitions were won by big brother Martin James last year, who went on to win three All-Ireland titles. In the 15-18 age group, Edel Hynes gave a fine performance to win her first Connacht title in the button accordion competition. In the 12-15 age group, Michael Burke on flute and Gerard Forde on piano were placed second and also go forward to the All-Ireland. In the senior newly composed ballad competition, Mike Feerick was making his competitive debut with a composition about the battle of Aughrim. Mike was placed third in the Galway fleadh, but on this occasion got first place. Ciara Stapleton & Shane Curley on drums, Rosemary Burke on concertina and Ferdie Whelan on accompaniment were placed third and were unlucky to just miss out on qualification. The Kilnadeema branch continues to go from strength to strength and will hopefully have some success at the All-Ireland fleadh, competing against the cream of traditional talent from all around the world. Those who will compete in Clonmel are Michael Burke, David & Martin James Howley, Gerard & Clare Forde, Fiona Hynes, Brian Egan, Edel Hynes, Lourda Kennedy, Mary Connaughton, Jack Sherry, Ciara Stapleton, Ferdie & Kathleen Whelan, Vincent & Louise Costello, Padraic Curley, Yvonne Barrett, Kristine O'Neill, Aoife Stapleton, Maria Holohan & James Hogan.