African roots and Irish hearts win Celtic contest
IT may be a Celtic song contest, but an Irish school's winning entry has a very distinct African flavour.
A group from Scoil Chriost Rí, Cloughleigh, Ennis, Co Clare, has been selected to represent Ireland in the 2014 Pan Celtic International Song Contest next month.
At the final in Derry, they will be up against national entries from the other participating Celtic nations of Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man.
But the Irish group, made up of sixth-class pupils and teachers in the Co Clare school, is bringing an even wider international dimension to the contest.
Eleven of the children have international ancestry, with family origins in Nigeria, Rwanda, Cameroon or the Ivory Coast.
Music and lyrics for the Pan Celtic Festival song contest must be newly composed with all entries 'as Gaeilge'. However, the genres can range from traditional to pop and country to rock.
The Scoil Chriost Rí group beat off competition from 18 other groups from Cork, Kerry, Galway, Donegal, Tipperary, Dublin, Clare, LWexford and Carlow to secure a place in the final.
The winning song was written by sixth-class teacher Joe Garry with the music by fellow teachers Karen Vaughan and Paul Crehan.
Acting principal Gearoid Roughan said that the whole school community was very proud of the children's win.