There was an amazing sister act at the 68th Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 last week.
From the heart of Sliabh Luachra the Flannery sisters from Rockchapel scooped double All Ireland wins at the event in Drogheda.
U-18 Duet Winners
Éimhear Flannery who is just 14, won the whistle slow airs U-15 competition. To add to the accolades, Eimhear and her sister Caoimhe won the U-18 duet.
Sliabh Luachra music is one of the finest examples of truly indigenous styles so unique to its region.
Numerous Irish Titles
Éimhear has numerous All Ireland titles to her name. As well as the latest there was also one in 2015.
Then at 11years old, playing the whistle, she was the youngest competitor ever in an otherwise adult line up of finalists for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Competition.
Two years later she again qualified as the youngest competitor for the Ó Riada Gold Medal competition playing the concertina.
She also has an U-15 Oireachtas medal for Sean Nós singing.
Along with her sister, Caoimhe has won numerous All Ireland Titles. In 2017 Caoimhe also won the prestigious Junior Fiddler of Dooney title in Sligo.
In July this year Caoimhe was invited to The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention (NAFCO) in Aberdeen, Scotland,where she played in various concerts and was also involved in workshops as well as in the youth camp and orchestra.
A Rising Star
The NAFCO blog described Caoimhe as ‘a rising star in the world of Irish Traditional Music.’
In May 2018 Caoimhe received the Mícheál Ó hÉidhin medal for outstanding achievement in all her SCT music exams.
In August 2018 she was honoured by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann at this year’s Fleadh Cheoil in Drogheda for outstanding achievement in the Advanced Performance Certificate.
Concerts and Festival
Caoimhe was one of three that were honoured, the other two recipients were Barry Connaty, Cavan and Blaithin Kennedy from Tipperary.
Caoimhe and Eimhear continue to perform extensively at concerts festivals and workshops as well as on radio.
It’s heartening to know that the precious music of the Sliabh Luachra area is alive and well thanks in no small part to those who continue to play from a sense of identity and a love of place.
And that in a week in which we lost a giant of the genre with the passing of Denis McMahon.
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