On Sunday 15 November, a youth group from Kilfenora won first place at the céilí band competition in Ceol an Geimhridh an Clar 2015, held in Cois na hAbhna, Ennis. They will now go forward to compete at the Munster finals of Ceol an Geimhridh 2015/2016.
Coached by Colm Nestor, the Kilfenora band members are Jessica Nea, Laura Griffey and Emma Kelly (fiddles); Eva Kenny, Róisín Keane (flutes); Ada Kenny (concertina); Sean Hickey (accordion); Niall Hegarty (banjo); Mike Kirwan (drums); and Niamh McMahon (piano).
Commentators said the winners had the style of the old Kilfenora band; several of these young musicians are direct descendants of past members. They were also playing in a hall overlooked by a picture of the 1954 Kilfenora band (with the addition of Ita Mulqueeney on bass).
Bands from Inis Cathaigh (Kilrush) were 2nd with East Clare 3rd.
There were some 140 entries in this Clare winter music festival across all competitions, sent by the various branches of the Comhaltas in Clare.
The Munster final will take place in Hazelwood College, Drumcollogher, Co. Limerick on Sunday, February 14th 2016. Qualifiers from counties Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford will compete against each other. The céilí band competition will be at 16.00 in Hall 1. More details are available at http://www.munstercomhaltas.ie/#/ceol-an-gheimhridh/4572229671