of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann

An Irish Culture Organization promoting the music, song, dance, and language of Ireland


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Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Newsletter

Ireland's premier cultural movement since 1951 with 400 branches around the world

Promoting the music, song, dance, and language of Ireland

The material in this newsletter is copyright 1996. We welcome this information to be distributed in the spirit of Comhaltas -- to enhance the Irish heritage -- but please give credit to the source: Comhaltas Newsletter, Seery/Curry Branch .

September 1996 Volume XII

A Chairde Gael

As we start the fall season, again I welcome your help in promoting Comhaltas. We have set up our sessions through December. We would love to get more members at these gatherings. We will try to give the musicians more time to play together, to learn new tunes, and to practice old ones. The dancers will continue to practice at their weekly gatherings.

I had the pleasure of attending Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Listowel in August. Traditional music, song, and dance is very much alive as was evident by the large numbers of musicians thronging the narrow streets of Listowel for the Fleadh. Next year's Fleadh will be held in Ballina, County Mayo, or in Kilkenny. This will be voted on later this month.

The 1996 North American Concert Tour will make a stop in the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield on November 1, 1996. We need all of the support we can muster for this concert. So mark it on your calendar to bring a friend or two. I also will be delighted if you can sell a few tickets for this event -- every little bit will help. Just give me a call for ticket info.

If you are planning on running for office at the annual general meeting in November, please give your name to the Chairman of the Nominating Committee, Mike Hogan at (203) 484-2655.

Beannacht De oraibh.

Joan Kennedy


Remember to teach your children your heritage; otherwise, someone else may teach them theirs.

Comhaltas Calendar of Events

Weekend of September 27
The third annual Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration will be held at the Saint John's Episcopal Church of New Milford, CT. from September 27-29. Workshops, concerts and mini-concerts are scheduled for the entire weekend featuring music on the mountain and hammered dulcimers.
Irish musicians will enjoy some of the Celtic flavored concerts such as the Atwater concert as well as a Saturday "Celtic Rhythms" workshop. For further details call Thomasina at (860) 567-8262.
Sunday September 29
A Sessiun will be held from 4:00P to 8:00P at the AOH Club, Golden Hill Rd., Waterbury, Ct. Beginner musicians and balladeers are encouraged to participate at all Sessiuns.
Sunday October 20
A Sessiun will be held from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at the New Haven Irish American Community Center, Venice Place, East Haven, CT. Beginner musicians and balladeers are encouraged to participate.
Friday November 1
The CCE North American Tour Concert will come to Connecticut's Gaelic American Club, Beach St., Fairfield,. Ct. at 8:00PM. There will be a Ceili following the concert.
Call Jim Fahey at (203) 255-5845 for ticket information or use the order blank in this newsletter to get your tickets.
Sunday November 3
Annual General Meeting for election of officers at 3:00P sharp at the AOH Club, Golden Hill Rd., Waterbury, Ct. Sessiun to follow from 4:00P to 8:00P.
Weekend November 9-10
Annual General Meeting of the Canada Regional Board at Saint John, New Brunswick. A weekend to Music, Dance, Song and Celebration.
Bus transportation is available from various points and will cost an estimated $70.00 per person. Rooms have also been reserved in a choice motel at a special rate of $60.00 per room. For further information please contact John Whelan, 244 Wardwell Rd., Mineola, New York, 11501. Telephone (516) 248-7809.
Sunday December 1
CCE Christmas Party with pot luck supper (bring your favorite dish) New Haven IACC, Venice Place, East Haven, Ct. Party will start at 5:00P.
Weekend of March 22, 1997
Make room on your calendar for Sliabh Bloom in Concert all the way from County Laois. Performance will be at New Haven IACC with a Ceili to follow. At press time this concert was in the planning stage. For exact date and time call Joan Kennedy at 203-393-0377. A Sessiun will be held from 4:00PM to 8:00PM at the AOH Club, Golden Hill Rd., Waterbury, CT.
Weekend April 11-13, 1997
The 1997 North American CCE Convention will be held at the Tara Ferncroft Conference Resort in Danvers, MA. Accommodations have reached capacity for staying at the Tara Ferncroft Conference Resort as well as the overflow hotel, the nearby Colonial Hilton and Resort in Wakefield. The Colonial Hilton referred questions back to The Tara Ferncroft. The Tara Ferncroft didn't return a phone call and when called back, said it was up to CCE to find other accommodations. Reservations for our CCE members & guests can still be made directly with nearby hotels. However, due to the space limitations, book carefully and keep your confirmation number in case of questions.

Thanks to Seamus K. of the Boston CCE, here are four other hotels available in the area:

  • Marriott Courtyard, 275 Independence Way, Danvers MA 01923 (508) 777-8630
  • Marriott Residence Inn, 51 Newbury Street, Danvers MA 01923 (508) 777-7171
  • Days Inn, 152 Endicott Street, Danvers MA 01923 (508) 777-1030
  • EconoLodge, 50 Dayton Street, Danvers MA 01923 (508) 777-1700
  • Week June 27 - July 3, 1997
    The Great Irish Famine 150th Anniversary Commemoration. This will be a week long International Cultural program. There is a proposed Cultural Program of Traditional Irish Music, Song Dance and Language - June 27-29, includes Friday Session, Saturday Breakfast, Workshops, Ceili Mor and Sunday Workshops. Other scheduled events include Family Reunions, Children's Entertainment, Genealogical Workshop, State Dinner, International Irish Cultural Symposium, World Premiere of Play Written by Dr. Stewart Donovan, "The Life of Dr. James Patrick Collins" and Memorial Service and Picnic. For more information and brochure contact. Irish Famine 150, PO Box 6121, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L 4R6. Telephone (506) 642-1997. FAX (506) 642-6621.
    Weekend August 15 1997
    Coach Trip to Grosse Ile on the St. Lawrence River near Quebec City. This trip will coincide with the 100 year anniversary for the dedication of the commemorative cross placed there by the AOH and Ladies Auxiliary in America in August of 1897. For information contact Jerry Kennedy, 1 Stiles Lane, Montvill, New Jersey, 07045. Telephone (201) 575-1576.
    Please contact the editor (see last page) with any upcoming events for publication in the newsletter.

    Welcome to Our New Members!

    Cead Mile Failte

    John A Boughton, William Cuffe, Ann Marie McNulty, Michael Gardiner, Shirley Galauskas, Marguerite Jackson, Jane Kelly, Teresa Kelly, John Madden, Thomas McInerney, Vincent O'Connor, John Shepard, Joanne M. Stange, & Pat Whelan. Welcome!

    Classes and Lessons

    Music Lessons Monday 7:30 P.M.
    An informal Irish music session is held each Monday evening beginning at 7:30 PM at the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield, CT.
    Ceili & Set Dance Tuesday 7:30 P.M.
    Lessons are held at the John Boyle O'Reilly Club, Springfield, MA. For information call Con or Philomena Murphy at (413) 736-3327.
    Irish Language Classes Wednesday 7:30 P.M.
    Irish Language Classes are held each Wednesday at 7:30 PM at I.A.C.C. in New Haven. Call David Manning at 888-4041 for details.
    Ceili & Set Dance Wednesday 7:30 P.M.
    Dance lessons lead by John Droney are available at the Irish Home Society, Glastonbury, CT. Call John at (860) 521-2696 for details.
    Ceili & Set Dance Thursday 8:00 P.M.
    Ceili and Set Dance Lessons are held on Thursday Evenings at the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield at 8 PM. Call Joan Kennedy at (203) 393-0377 for further information and directions to the club.
    Irish Language Lessons Thursday 7:00 P.M.
    Irish Language Lessons are offered at the Gaelic American Club in Fairfield on Thursdays at 7 PM. Call Jim Fahey at 255-5845 for details.
    Irish Singing Group Thursday 7:15 P.M.
    "The Curlews" is a singing group formed for the enjoyment of singing. Gina Dunlap, director for the group points out that a great voice is not needed. A love of singing is the only requirement. Don't miss the fun times with this group. Gatherings are at the IACC in New Haven. For more details call Gina Dunlap at (203) 393-1064.
    Ceili & Set Dance Friday 9:15 P.M.
    Ceili & Set dancing lessons take place each Friday evening beginning at 9:15 PM at the I.A.C.C. in New Haven. Contact Pat or Joan Kennedy at 393-0377 for further information.
    Music Lessons By Appointment
    Traditional Irish Music Lessons for many instruments are offered by eight-time All-Ireland Champion, John Whelan. For more information call (203) 876-9973.
    The following message was received from our branch secretary, Andrea Hogan, upon her return from Ireland, after receiving one of the CCE - Aer Lingus Living Tradition Awards. Andrea was one of two Northeast Region members who were chosen to receive this award. She chose to study the Irish language in a small school in County Kerry.

    Dear Friends,

    I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and Aer Lingus for affording me the opportunity of a lifetime. I have just recently returned from a two week beginner Irish lanuage course held in the heart of the West Kerry Gaeltecht in Ballyferriter, at Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne.

    It was a fantastic two weeks. I was in class with eight other students. Four of us were Americans, two Irish and one each from Scotland and the Netherlands. We had a wonderful teacher in Eilin Ui Luing. She herself was an elementary school teacher and her methods were very effective. Her goal was to give us a firm basis on which to build our knowledge of the language. She used daily events and personal happenings to create stories which made it easy for us to associate the Irish conversation with the event.

    As well as 9:30A to 3:30P classroom work, Monday through Saturday the school had organized activities in the evening such as archaeological tours, music sessuins, dancing and lectures. It was a most enjoyable experience for me -- one that I will never forget. I hope I can pass on some of what I learned to others through the Irish language lessons in this newsletter among other things.

    Again, my most sincere thanks to Curry-Seery Branch for thinking me a worthy candidate for the Aer Lingus Living Tradition Award. I would also like to say that I would highly recommend the Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne program to future award winners.

    Andrea Hogan

    Members In The News


    Labhras O Murchu, Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, was the recent recipient of the 1996 Dublin City Lord Mayors Award. Honored for his many achievements in cultural and social work he was presented the award by Lord Mayor Alderman Sean D. Loftus. The Tipperary born honoree is the editor of TREOIR magazine, spearheaded the establishment of Culturlann na hEireann, the Irish Cultural Institute at Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co. Dublin and serves as its Director. Labhras is also national chairman of the Irish Family History Foundation and the Fonduireacht an Phiarsaigh. We are proud to have such a dedicated and distinguished leader in Comhaltas.



    Tom Walsh, Vice Chairman of Curry Seery Branch, has volunteered to teach the tin whistle to youngsters at the Irish American Community Center in New Haven. This is a fantastic opportunity which plants the seeds of traditional Irish music in another generation.

    Curry Seery will work in conjunction with the New Haven IACC to sponsor the lessons. Contact Kathleen O'Donovan at (203) 281-3563 for further information.

    Students will be asked to pay a small tuition which will be set aside and used in the future to purchase instruments. All members are encouraged to get the word out and make this opportunity a success.

    Our Best Wishes

    Ann McManus
    Ann Kinsella-Jacksis
    Bill McEvoy

    For Newsletter Articles, Suggestions, or Comments

    Jim Smith, the newsletter editor.
    Comhaltas Newsletter
    12 Webster Ct.
    Newington, CT. 06111
    (860) 666-0197

    Eugene Kennedy

    It is with great sadness that we convey the loss of one of our friends and fellow set dancers, Eugene Kennedy. Gene was a very active member in the Curry-Seery Branch for many years. He and his wife, Mary Kennedy, were known to drive many miles from their home in Pittsfield, Mass to attend Comhaltas sessions and ceilis. His special personality and warm smile will be sorely missed by all. May we extend our sincere sympathy to Mary and the family during this most difficult time.


    Thank you to Tom Slater for donating the canvas material for our branches new CCE banner. The banner is now being lettered by our own very talented artist member, Karen Burgess.


    Thank you to all the members of Curry Seery Branch who put together displays, created posters, and manned our CCE information table at area festivals this summer. As a result of your interest and hard work the Comhaltas message was spread. We received names of several prospective new members on our sign up sheets.


    A special thanks goes to Fred Berkman, Gina Dunlap and Joan Kennedy for judging the musical instrument, singing and Irish language contests at the Connecticut Irish Festival.

    Sympathy, Prayers and Best Wishes go to:

    Frank and Pat Dugan on the death of their son Frank Jr.

    Mary Kennedy and family on the death her husband, our friend and longtime member of Comhaltas, Eugene Kennedy.

    William Connolly on the death of his mother Margaret in Co. Galway.


    The new year for Comhaltas occurs each November so to celebrate this New Year, Secretary Andrea Hogan wants you and your friends to join! Our Branch is growing strong and 1997 dues payments are already being accepted. Also, if your membership lapsed or if you are a newcomer and would like to join Comhaltas, now is the time!

    Upon receipt of this newsletter, just use the special enclosed envelope to mail your dues to the secretary, Andrea Hogan. Remember, dues are still only $12.00 for individuals and $8.00 for each additional family member. Notice that we have included information so you can have your TREOIR magazine mailed to you if you wish.

    So put this newsletter down and pay your dues now! Of course, if you have already paid your dues for 1997, don't put this newsletter down! Read it and enjoy it and go raibh maith agut.

    Use your own pretty envelope and mail membership dues to:
    Andrea Hogan, Secretary
    Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
    145 Old Post Road
    Northford, CT 06472


    The 1996 Comhaltas Tour features the following:

    • Brendan McGlinchey, fiddle
      • Co. Armagh
    • Martin Ryan, Accordion,
      • Co. Tipperary
    • Carmel Commins, Accordion,
      • Coventry England
    • Paul Harrigan, Uilleann Pipes,
      • Co. Donegal
    • Ronan Moloney, Flute,
      • Co. Limerick
    • Teresa O'Grady, Banjo,
      • Luton, England
    • June McCormack, Flute,
      • Co. Sligo
    • Tony O'Connell, Concertina,
      • Co. Limerick
    • Justin Toner, Fiddle,
      • Co. Armagh
    • Grainne Hambly, Harp,
      • Co. Mayo
    • Alice Fitzgerald, Singer,
      • Co. Waterford
    • Larry Mason, Singer,
      • Co. Dublin
    • Frank Roddy, Dancer,
      • Co. Derry
    • Lisa Moore, Dancer,
      • Co. Derry
    • Ivor Rice, Dancer,
      • Co. Louth
    • Fiona McCaffery, Dancer,
      • Co. Donegal
    • Anthony Sharkey, Dancer,
      • Co. Clare
    • Paddy Fallon, M.C. Fear a Ti,
      • Co. Roscommon


    This section comes from an increasing awareness of the global nature of our Irish Heritage through work with the Internet. These letters have been pulled off the Internet from different areas of the globe. From time to time we receive a wonderful reminder that traditional Irish Culture reaches into the far corners of the world. It is an inspiration to realize that the Seery-Curry Branch is a vital part of that global bond. I would like to share these letters with our branch members.

    Some of the following letters have been edited for publishing purposes (hopefully without loss of character). The originals are available from me and on the Internet. Email addresses have been posted so any members with Email capabilities can correspond with any of these individuals.

    The following letters were in response to requests for sessions and ceili's


    Tokyo:--Kashiwa Hall, 8-4-17 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku has a ceili once a month, with a beginner session from 2-5 just before.

    Email to (Patty) for more info...


    Seoul, Korea

    Thu Aug 01 02:07:10 1996

    I may be there in September. And I know it's a longshot, but... Don't Laugh! Any Celtic Music In Seoul, Korea?

    John T. Bailey

    Mon Aug 12 15:06:01 1996

    O' Kims in the Sherriton Choice Hotel, Seoul. That's the only place I know of . A lady by the name of Pegg