Corofin's 'Duchas' crowned Siansa Gael Linn 2017 Champions

The young traditional music group ‘Dúchas’ from Corofin  are the Siansa Gael Linn 2017 winners !   At the Grand Finale concert in the National Concert Hall on Sunday, 2 April 2017, they were selected from among eight finalists of a high standard for this prestigious award. Organized annually by Gael Linn, with support from RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and Irish Music Magazine, Siansa Gael Linn is a musical highlight on the calendar of young musicians.

The capacity audience, comprising schoolmates, friends and relatives of the competitors, were treated to a feast of traditional music and song from the eight finalists. There was stiff competition  among the groups who hailed from all corners of Ireland-  ‘Fiúntas’ and ‘Lonrach’ from County Laois, along with  ‘Sáile’  from Sligo, ‘Ragairne’ from south County Dublin, ‘Tigh Tara’, from County Derry,  ‘Imreasc’ from Limerick, ‘Leoithne’  from County Cork, along with County Clare’s ‘Dúchas’  - for the prizefund  of €4,500. It fell to renowned traditional musicians Niamh Ní Charra, Declan Masterson and Jacinta McEvoy to decide the prizewinners. They praised all the groups for their programmes of carefully selected and thoughtfully arranged traditional  tunes and songs, but in the end, declared ‘Dúchas’ the winners!  Group members Conchubhar Ó Lochlainn, Fionnuala Ní Aoidh, Daire Ó Seanáin, Ross Ó Donnabháin, Áine Ní Cheallaigh, Cathal Ó Corbáin, Pól Ó Fearáin and Seán Ó Dochartaigh were thrilled to accept the top prize - €2,500 and the Gael Linn Trophy - a first for the musical maestros from Corofin, and indeed for County Clare,  in the competition !  In second place were the Laois group ‘Fiúntas’,  who received €1,250. Third place and a prize of €750  went to ‘Leoithne’ from Cork.  A specially designed memento was also  presented to each young musician who took part in the event. 

Siansa uniquely showcases Irish music and Irish song by young musicians, all through the medium of Irish. Compered by popular broadcaster Áine Hensey, the concert was enjoyed, not only by the huge attendance in the National Concert Hall, but by thousands of listeners worldwide who tuned into the live broadcast on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. Seán Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Programmes for the station commented:  "RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta is delighted to be associated with Siansa. Without a doubt, it has become a major event on the traditional music calendar and one of our most important broadcast events on Raidió na Gaeltachta . We congratulate the musicians,  Gael Linn and everyone who has helped to make it the success it is!”

Praising the groups and their mentors who brought the standard of musicianship and song in this year’s Siansa final to a new level, Gael Linn CEO, Antoine Ó Coileáin, said:  ‘Gael Linn has been promoting Irish traditional music and song in tandem with the Irish language for more than 60 years. Siansa is nurturing the stars of the future. Previous participants include Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Niamh Dunne

( Beoga ), Radie Peat (Lynched ), The Bonnymen, Niamh Farrell ( Project West ) and The Rising’.  He thanked RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and  Irish Music Magazine for their ongoing support of the competition.

The performances of each group on the National Concert Hall stage may be viewed You Tube in due course.

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