EUROPEAN CITIZEN’S AWARD FOR COMHALTAS
27th January 2015
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was presented with the highly prestigious European Citizen’s Prize on Saturday at a special award ceremony at Brú Ború Cultural Centre, Cashel. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú Ardstiúrthóir CCÉ and Vincent Jordan, President CCÉ accepted the prize on behalf of Comhaltas from Lynn Boylan MEP after which Senator Ó Murchú addressed the full capacity gathering in the Brú Ború theatre. MEPs Martina Anderson, Matt Mc Carthy and Liadh Ní Riada also contributed to the ceremony as did Francis Jacobs representing the European Parliament Information Office.
Each year the European Parliament awards ‘The European Citizen’s Prize’. This prize is awarded to citizens or organisations having contributed to promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the Member States; or to facilitating cross border or transnational cooperation contributing to the strengthening of a European spirit. The Sinn Féin MEPs nominated Comhaltas for the prize.
Founded in 1951 Comhaltas is world-renowned as Ireland’s leading cultural movement, dedicated to the promotion and development of traditional Irish music, song, dance and an Ghaeilge throughout the island of Ireland and worldwide. Today Comhaltas has 16 cultural centres throughout Ireland and provides services to 3m people annually worldwide. With 420 branches in 15 countries on 4 continents CCÉ plays a leading role in fostering strong links with the Irish Diaspora and those who consider themselves Irish. It continues to promote a positive image of Ireland on the international stage and promotes strong links with other cultures. In 2013 Comhaltas achieved a milestone in the Peace Process when it brought Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Ireland’s premier cultural festival, to Derry. This event attracted a record attendance of 430,000 visitors and generated €50m for the region. This historic Derry All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil was the first time that the event was held in the North of Ireland in its 60-year history. It diminished barriers, embraced all communities and was an outstanding example of friendship, reconciliation and co-operation