30 May 2019 00:00 – 02 June 2019 00:00
Location: Monaghan Education Campus, Armagh Road, County Monaghan, Ireland


Dates: 30 May to 2 June

Venue: Monaghan Education Campus, Monaghan

For further details contact:-

Tel. 086 8535519

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Oriel Traditional Orchestra to open this year’s County Fleadh
Monaghan town will host this year’s Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann county Fleadh, a four-day celebration of Irish traditional culture starting on Thursday 30th May, running to Sunday 2nd June. The programme of events will include performances, sessions and of course competition, as talent from across the county come together to compete in music, song, dance and language for the honour of county titles, and the chance to progress to represent themselves and their county at provincial and possibly all-Ireland level.
This year’s county fleadh is privileged to host, on opening night, the first public performance in County Monaghan by the Oriel Traditional Orchestra. This 85-piece orchestra, which includes a range of instruments including harp, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, flute, fiddle, viola, cello, double bass, piano accordion, button accordion, concertina, banjo, mandolin, guitar, bodhrán, piano and percussion, will take to the stage at the Garage Theatre, Monaghan on Thursday the 30th of May at 7:30pm. The Oriel Traditional Orchestra is a community initiative established in 2017 that brings together musicians from Armagh, Louth, Meath and Monaghan to perform arrangements of Irish traditional music with a focus on this region.
Performances by the Oriel Traditional Orchestra to date include joint concerts with Ceolta Sí from Youghal, Co. Cork, as well as appearances at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the Gerry Whelan weekend in 2018, and a joint concert with the DKIT Traditional Music Ensemble, Oirghialla Oscailte, in the Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk. Under the direction of Noreen McManus, Adèle Commins, Daithí Kearney and Róisín Ward Morrow, the OTO have quickly developed into an ensemble with a significant social, cultural and musical impact on the region and Monaghan Comhaltas are delighted to welcome them to mark the opening of this year’s fleadh.  More information can be found on this exciting orchestral group at
Friday continues the regional theme as the Garage Theatre once again hosts a much-anticipated performance by local musicians Tiarnán O Duinnchinn, Dónal McCague and Seán McElwain.  Tiarnán, described as one of the most influential pipers of his generation, is himself no stranger to the fleadhanna, being a four-time all-Ireland winner. Add to that further achievements in numerous prestigious competitions such as the Seán O Riada Bonn Oir (Seán O Riada Gold Medal) competition in 2013, and the prestigious Oireachtas Piping competition in 1997 in the Centenary year of the event. He also performed as a soloist in the Edward Maguire commissioned orchestral work “L’Epopye Celtique” at Festival Interceltique in Lorient also in 1997. Tiarnán has being touring and performing professionally on a regular basis since 1995 both as a member of various bands and as a solo performer. His music has taken him to Europe, United States, Asia, Africa, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
Scotstown’s own Dónal McCague is a renowned and accomplished fiddle player well known for his vibrant, fresh and unique fiddle style. In 2013 Dónal was recognized for his dedication to the art by winning Young Musician of the Year in the TG4 Gradam Ceoil (Traditional Music Awards). Described by Matt Molloy as “a remarkable musician”, Dónal’s playing is often compared favourably with great fiddlers like MacGabhann, Peoples, Rooney, and Carty.  As well as being an accomplished solo musician, Dónal has substituted for Oisín MacDiarmada in the well-known band “Téada”. He has also performed with the “John Carty Festival Band” and with members of De Dannan, The Chieftains & The Bothy Band as well as with Matt Molloy, Frankie Gavin, John Carty and Arty McGlynn to name a few.
Seán McElwain is also a Gradam Ceoil Award recipient (2016) in recognition for his work to shine a new light on the music of the Sliabh Beagh region of Monaghan and Fermanagh, and to reunite this musical repertoire with musicians of the region. A multi-instrumentalist - performing on banjo, bouzouki and guitar - Seán is also a member of the award-winning Irish traditional group Téada. His accompaniment skills within this musical context have gained plaudits from a number of sources, with one reviewer commenting: “the question of whether a tune holds together or falls apart often hinges on how well he plays. A band couldn’t have a better backbone.”  With Téada, he has appeared as a frequent headliner at major music festivals across the globe.
To have any one of these musicians perform at this year’s fleadh would be a treat. To have all three, promises a feast of entertainment and a night not to be missed.  Tiarnán, Dónal and Seán will perform in the Garage Theatre on Friday 31st of May at 8pm.
All roads lead to the Monaghan Education Campus on Saturday the 1st of June for the main event; the competitions. For many, the fleadh represents the realisation of hours of dedicated practice as they prepare to go head-to-head with their peers across a range of solo and group music, singing, comhra gaeilge and dance competitions.  While winning is the icing on the cake for the lucky few, the competitions are a great opportunity for hundreds across the county to enjoy performing in front of family and friends and is always an enjoyable and social event for everyone taking part.
The usual session trail will feature through the fleadh weekend too.  In addition to senior sessions, two junior sessions are on the programme for our younger musicians and singers. The first, a Barbeque and session at An Poc Fada at 7pm after the competition on the Saturday, and the second will be a closing session in the Hillgrove Hotel on Sunday at 2pm.  As usual, all are welcome - the more the better!  See the Garage Theatre’s website for details on tickets, and follow Comhaltas Baile Mhuineacháin Facebook page for more details. Enjoy the Fleadh!