Monday, 21 April 2014

Iontas - Siansa Gael Linn 2014 winners

Cliffs along the Atlantic coastline of County ...
Cliffs along the Atlantic coastline of County Mayo, near Ballycastle, Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The young traditional music group ‘Iontas’ from Coola Post Primary School, Riverstown, County Sligo, are the Siansa Gael Linn 2014 winners! At the Grand Finale concert in the National Concert Hall on Sunday, 6th of April 2013, they were chosen from among eight finalists of a high standard for this prestigious award. It is the third time a group from County Sligo has won the Siansa Grand Finale after’Spraoi’ in 2009 and ‘Teaspach’ in 2012. Siansa is  a competition for young traditional Irish music and singing groups, organized annually by Gael Linn, with support from Foras na Gaeilge, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and Irish Music Magazine.
Áine Hensey, popular presenter with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, compered the  show which was broadcast live by the station on the night. Each participating group - Trioscar from County Waterford, Na Rógairí from Dublin, Ceoltóirí Chnoc na Gaoithe from Tulla, County Clare, Iontas from Riverstown, County Sligo, Na hÓgánaigh from Dublin, Lasair from Mallow, County Cork, Glór Mhaigh Eo from Castlebar, County Mayo, as well as Cóiriú from Magherafelt, County Derry, delighted the capacity audience with their programmes of carefully selected and thoughtfully arranged traditional tunes and songs. Such was the musicianship, that there was stiff competition for the prizefund  of €4,500, and it fell to renowned traditional musicians Mary Bergin, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and  Niamh Ní Charra to choose the prizewinners. There was great rejoicing among their supporters  when it was announced that ‘Iontas’ were the victors! There are 8 young musicians in the group - Tomás Ó Gabháin, Shauna Ní Chuilinn, Conal Mac Cormaic, Colm Ó Tuathaigh, Síofra Ní Áinle, Dúlra Ní Áinle, Orlaith Ní Chionnaith and Stiofán Ó Maolagáin. In second place were Glór Mhaigh Eo from Castlebar, County Mayo - Kate Ní Éineacháin, Maggie Ní Éineacháin, Sal Ní Éineacháin, Séamus Ó Tiarnáin, Marianna Ní Thiarnáin, Kathryn Ní Thiarnáin, Caoimhe Ní Giolla Choinnigh and Ellen Ní Mhurchú. Third place went to Cóiriú from Magherafelt, County Derry - Eimhéar Ní Mhaolchallan, Mairéad Ní Mhistéil, Maire Ní Mhistéil, Brígín Ní Mhistéil, Jeac Mac Giolla Mhearnóg, Stiofán Mac Aodha and Eoghan Mac Aodha.
The winners, Iontas, were presented with the Gael Linn trophy, along with a cheque for €2,500.  Prizes of  €1,250 and €750, 2nd and 3rd places resepectively, were presented to ‘Glór Mhaigh Eo’ and ‘Cóiriú’.  Each young musician who took part in the final  was also presented with a memento of the occasion. Gael Linn will release a live recording of the three prizewinning groups on CD shortly.  A special programme featuring highlights from the event  will be broadcast on TG4 on Wednesday, 23rd of April at 9.30p.m.
Thanking Foras na Gaeilge, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and Irish Music Magazine for their ongoing support of the competition,  Gael Linn CEO, Antoine Ó Coileáin said: Siansa Gael Linn is a highlight of the music calendar for young musicians. The competition promotes excellence in music-making and enjoyment among the participants. Siansa uniquely showcases Irish music and Irish song by young musicians, all through the medium of Irish. Siansa gives expression to the great public interest and support for Irish culture.  

Further information:  Niamh de Búrca 01:6753303/087:2623953

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