Duo will carry our hopes in contest

Pan Celtic final in Carlow in April

Published 19/02/2013 | 05:24

A MULTI-TALENTED duo who've already won individual acclaim as accomplished authors, song-writers, poets, musicians, bloggers and producers have teamed up to win the Pan Celtic National Song Contest and represent Ireland on a global stage in early April.

Áine Durkin and Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh, both of whom live in Donegal, beat off stiff competition in the Seven Oaks in Carlow to book their place in the Pan Celtic International Song Contest which runs during the 42nd annual International Pan Celtic Festival in Carlow from April 2 to 7.

Over 50 Irish-language entries were received and just 20 shortlisted performers took to the stage in a gala competition hosted by RTE's Daithí Ó Sé. The winning song 'Le do Thaobh' was jointly composed by the duo and sung by Seoirse.

'Any one of at least eight entries could have won the contest and scooped the IMRO-sponsored €1,000 prize in the competition, such was the quality of songs,' said Cathaoirleach of the organising committee Bríde de Róiste.

'The standard was incredible and we had entries from several counties, among them Kerry, Cork and Galway, Donegal, Derry, Leitrim, Tipperary, Clare, Carlow, Wicklow and Dublin. 'Le do Thaobh' now goes on to represent Ireland in the international final which features entries from the six participating countries. The other competing 'countries'- Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Cornwall and Isle of Man, will all select their own entries for the grand final.'

The rules of the contest are very simple, every entry has to be in the country's own language, it has to be newly composed but can be in any genre.

'Our own final showed just how diverse entries can be, we had everything from sean-nós to rock, solos to group performances, trad to pop,' she added.

Among the youngest composers in the Irish final was 16 year-old Áine Ní Bhrollaigh from Dungiven in Derry and niece of GAA analyst Joe Brolly. Áine performed her song 'Oileán Beag Glas' on the night, along with her aunt and a host of young harpists from the Ruaidhrí Dall Harp School.

'The winning Irish entry is very different to last year when we were represented by a band. This year the judges were blown away by this amazing performance by Seoirse who captivated his audience with his silky voice and some fine guitar playing.'

The 2013 Pan Celtic National Song Contest organisers are very thankful to their expert judging panel which included Seán Ó Sé, Colm Mac Séalaigh and Traic Ó Braonáin. Ireland holds the presidency this year of the Pan Celtic International Festival with Seán Ó Sé officiating as president throughout the 6 day event in April.

For more on the Pan Celtic Festival visit www.panceltic.ie

Carlow People

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