Plucky comeback for Inishowen harp
THE harp is making a
big musical comeback in Inishowen with an almost
ten-fold increase in the numbers now playing
Ireland's national instrument.
Young harpers from Inishowen won every single
category of the U18 Harp Competitions at the recent
Fleadh Cheoil Dhun na nGall in Moville.
Fleadh co-organiser Clodagh Warnock says it's proof
that the harp is experiencing "a real-life revival
in the peninsula".
In 2010, there were only one or two harpers left in
the peninsula, said Clodagh, who is also the
director of Moville local traditional music school
She said when she established Ceolan eight years ago
with Roisin McGrory, the harp was one of their
"Now, eight years on, we have 18 young harpers
taking lessons in Moville, and at least 10 more have
already passed through our ranks," she added.
Clodagh was one of the organisers of the 2018 Fleadh
Cheoil Dhun na nGall, which was held in Moville for
the first time ever in early May.
She said young harpers were honoured in a special
way in the Fleadh this year, thanks to the first
trophy in the 15-18 years solo category, sponsored
by local bakery, Daniel Doherty's.
The Perpetual Cup was presented to the overall
winner of this competition - Kieva McGonagle from
Winner of the U18 Harp Competition at
Fleadh Cheoil Dhun na nGall - Kieva McGonagle from
Redcastle is presented with the Daniel Doherty
Bakery Perpetual Cup by Trish Hegarty on behalf of
the bakery. Also included on right is Clodagh
Warnock, Fleadh organiser and director of the Ceolan
School of Traditional Music in Moville. Pic by Neil
Clodagh says that the
holding of the Fleadh in Moville for the first time
offered a great opportunity to highlight the hard
work that has gone into rejuvenating the art of
"Ceolan has started a harp ensemble group with 10 of
our pupils, under the guidance of harp tutors Joleen
McLaughlin - of The Henry Girls - and Kerri Mullan.
"The harp is our national instrument and thankfully
now is being promoted in Inishowen. There is a
wealth of ancient music associated with the harp and
this is being integrated back into current
repertoires that are played in sessions in the
peninsula," Clodagh added.