WHAT a slew of trad talent there is in the county!
Young musicians were out in force at Lixnaw's annual Féile Cheoil over the weekend as the Ceolann Centre in the village became the focal point of a remarkable array of musical and dancing artistry.
It was the Lixnaw Comhaltas Ceolteóirí Eireann (CCE) branch's 52nd ever Féile Cheoil; the 52nd year consolidating the proud tradition of native music, song and dance in the north Kerry heartland.
"We were delighted with the weekend," Lixnaw CCE PRO Róisín Rice said. "Sunday in particular was exceptionally busy with a lot of competitions in music, singing and comhrá with competitors coming from all over Kerry, Limerick and from as far as Tipperary!"
Saturday night also saw local champion musicians James Duggan (fiddle) and Graham Guerin (accordion) playing the main concert with Roscommon's Shane Cunniffe. One man had travelled from Killarney just to hear the trio after listening to them perform on a recent Raidio na Gaeltachta programme, such is their dedication to the pure form of traditional music.
The Ceolann Centre, established by Comhaltas, makes all the difference. "It's just a fantastic asset and a great centre and has helped the branch here to grow so vibrant. 20 years ago, in fact, traditional music was going through a bit of a slump in Lixnaw but we're glad to report that it is stronger than ever today."
One local lad to prove this point was Eamonn Shanahan who won a first, among all his fellow competitors - the inaugural Danny O'Mahony Perpetual Cup in Memory of Jimmy Hennessy from Kilocrim in Listowel. Jimmy Hennessy was the 'King of the Wren' in his area and his son Jim was keen to establish the cup under the name of the Ballyduff maestro.