Comhaltas Tour of Ireland arrives at Longford’s Backstage Theatre

The Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Macalla na hÉireann, will perform at the Backstage Theatre, Longford on Monday October 15 next at 8pm.

The Comhaltas Tour of Ireland, Macalla na hÉireann, will perform at the Backstage Theatre, Longford on Monday October 15 next at 8pm.

The event, which is unique to Ireland has being going from strength to strength over the past few years and boasts the very best of Irish musicians and dancers. This is the tour’s first visit to Longford and the first time in 24 years that a local musician has participated.

This year County Longford musician and banjo player Elaine Reilly from Ballymore, Granard is among the elite group that will tour the country over the coming weeks. The 18-year-old is regarded as one of Ireland’s up and coming musicians and scooped runner up in the 15-18 year-old Category during the All-Ireland Fleadh Ceoil in Cavan recently. She is also a member of the John Duignan Comhaltas Branch and has numerous musical accolades to her credit.

“This annual Tour features the best of traditional talent drawn from the four Provinces of Ireland and they will perform at 14 venues across the country from October 14-27,” Tour Manager, Martin Murphy from Longford explained.

“It features Irish song, dance, music and story-telling and each year the tour assembles a fine mix of established artistes together with up-and-coming young stars. These are blended together into a fast-moving and colourful show that appeals to both the connoisseurs and peripheral fans of Irish traditional entertainment. It is a show that reflects the breadth and depth of music, dance and song.”

This year’s line up includes, Alice Fitzgerald from Waterford, Singer and MC; Noel Battle from Westmeath, Mouth Organ; Shane Keating from Cork, Uilleann Pipes; Emer Toale from Dublin, harp/ piano; Lorraine McMahon from Louth, fiddle/whistle; Joseph Keane, Co Laois, button accordion; Elaine Reilly from Longford, banjo; Róisín Broderick from Galway, concertina/fiddle; Clare Heffernan from Limerick, whistle/ flute; Aisling Vaughan from Cork, dancer/concertina; Christin Mulcahy from Limerick, dancer/concertina; Tomás Ó’Sé and Seán Hanafin, Kerry, dancers.

“Elaine Reilly is one of the finest musicians in the country and we are delighted to have her on board, “ Mr Murphy added. “Rehearsals have been taking place at Comhaltas headquarters in Dublin and everyone is looking froward to performing in the coming weeks.”

Tickets cost €10 and are limited but more information can be obtained from Backstage Theatre, Longford at www.backstagetheatre.ie or by contacting Martin Murphy on (086) 8119444. The 2012 Tour of Ireland is generously sponsored by: Foras na Gaeilge and Bus Éireann.