A group of 14 young musicians drawn from Ceoltóirí Drumlin, the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann, travelled to Carhaix on Friday, May 14th. Their teacher Francis Mc Mahon from Tullycorbet, Branch Chairman Breen Jackson from Carrickmacross, Mary Kerr-Conlon Mayor of Carrickmacross, Michael Mc Mahon Chairman Carrickmacross/Carhaix Town Twinning Association and parents Orla Mhic Shuibhne, Paul Quinn and Gerard Mc Guirk accompanied the highly talented teenagers.
Saturday afternoon was largely spent rehearsing with a group of Celtic musicians known as Castle Céilí from the Carhaix Ecole de Musique du Poher under the leadership of internationally renowned uillinn piper Patrick Molard. At 8.30pm Castle Céilí took the stage first to entertain the international audience of Dutch, English, French and German guests who were there to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the town Twinning of Carhaix and German town Waldkappel. Ceoltóirí Drumlin then took over and played samples of practically every type of Irish music including a most beautiful traditional Irish solo song. The climax was in the second part of the concert when the two groups played together and brought the house down. At the end of the set the insatiable and appreciative audience shouted for more and more. The evening’s entertainment concluded with some Breton and Irish dancing, the highlight of which was a unique performance by Francis Mc Mahon.
The outstandingly enjoyable weekend was overshadowed a little when the return Ryan Air flight was cancelled on Monday. The day was saved however when Marie Louise Huiban, President of Carhaix Town Twinning Association did trojan work to book a passage home for the group on Irish Ferries. Ceoltóirí Drumlin showed the breath and depth of their talent by playing for the passengers from 8pm to nearly midnight. Copies of their latest CD Turas Ceoil were in big demand and lots of people expressed the hope of visiting Carrickmacross as a result of the positive way the town was presented to international audiences in France and on the boat home. Every cloud, even an ash cloud, has a silver lining.