Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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The Traditional Group which qualified for the All Ireland Final of the Gael Linn Siansa competition - View Full Size Image
The Traditional Group which qualified for the All Ireland Final of the Gael Linn Siansa competition

A traditional group from Loreto College Coleraine travelled to Monaghan on Monday 13th February 2017 to represent the College in the Ulster Final of the Gael Linn Siansa competition.  On Thursday 16th February, the group was told that it had won through to the All Ireland Final of the competition.

Organised by Gael Linn with support from Foras na Gaeilge, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and Irish Music Magazine, Siansa provides a platform for talented teenage groups who aim to emulate groups such as Téada, Altan, Danú, Dervish etc. While Siansa is essentially a competition, the groups are helped and encouraged along the way by highly regarded traditional musicians. The event is run entirely through the medium of Irish.  Following an initial filtering through the submission of recordings, the Loreto group was among those selected for the Workshop stage of the competition; the group’s performance on the day was outstanding enough for them to win through to the Final. 

Musicians drawn from throughout the school are members of the group: Ronan Close (Year 9), Niamh Mooney (Year 10), Dearbhla Ni Choisneachain (Year 11),  Donal Close (Year 12), Eve Gardiner (Year 12) Cianan Mooney (Year 12), Fearghal Close (Year 13), and Cariosa O’Harte (Year 14). The group is led by teacher Mrs Maeve Close.  At the Monaghan Workshop, the group had the opportunity to work with well-known traditional musicians as well as hearing the performances of other shortlisted groups.  In the All Ireland Final, the musicians will perform in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on Sunday 2nd April – a hugely prestigious event.

The Tigh Tara group was commended on progressing to the Final of such a prestigious and competitive event by Mr Michael James, Principal of Loreto College.