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Adams launches Féile na Laoch in honour of Seán Ó Riada

9 July, 2011 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD last night launched the Féile na Laoch, a festival of pop and Irish traditional music, opera, poetry, drama and dance to mark 40 years since the death of Seán Ó Riada. The festival takes place in Baile Bhuirne, County Cork over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The following are the remarks made by Mr Adams at the launch of the festival:

Seán Ó Riada died 40 years ago this year.

He would be 80 years of age next August the 1st of he had lived.

This is the 4th time Seán’s life and work will be celebrated in Muscaí in the last 40 years.

Seán Ó Riada is famous for his music and the music of films like Mise Éire and Saoirse.

He founded that first traditional music group Ceoltoirí Chualann which has spawned so much music around the world today.

His liturgical music is known around the world since the second Vatican Council in the early sixties.

He wrote plays and articles that drew many smiles and made people think.

It is fitting that his work and life is being celebrated this year.

But the committee of Féile na Laoch have decided to share his spotlight and stage with other heroes of culture, so that we pause and appreciate the wealth in our lives because of these people’s actions.

Money is scarce these days and people have to gather their courage and energy from the good example of these people to fortify themselves.

This will help us to face the hardship that arises from today’s financial crises.

This good example is to be seen also from all the artists taking part in this festival. They have all forgone their fees and are here for free to celebrate this man Seán Ó Riada.

I remember other hard times, in particular the in Belfast when we were behind the barricades behind the barricades in 1969 to 1970. One of my friends had the LP ‘Ó Riada sa Gaeity’. I remember us listening to that wonderful music and being lifted by it.

The people of Muscraí have gathered together in the form of a big meitheal to welcome the extended family of the nation and are bringing us to the cultural well where we will drink from the fresh clear water of creativity that will energise the spirit of us all.

I praise their commitment and I recommend this festival to everyone.

Tá mise an sásta agus brodúil Feile na Laoch a sheoladh.

Féile na Laoch – An Féile chun saol Seán Ó Riada a ceiliriu. Bhí mé an-thógtha le Seán agus tá grá mhór agam dá chuid ceoil.

Mo comhgháirdeachas leis na daoine a chuir an féile speisilta seo le cheile agus ár buíochas leo.

Bheadh Seán Ó Riada 80 bliain d’aois Lá Lughnasa seo chugainn da mbeadh sé beo.

Scríobh sé ceol, tá fhois agaibh, don scannán Mise Éire agus Saoirse. B’é a bhunaigh an céad grúpa traidisiúnta Ceoltóirí Cualann as ar tháinigh an sruth iontach grúpaí sios, go dti an la seo inniu. Tá a chuid ceoil Eaglasta ar fuaid an domhain agus scriobh sé drámái agus altanna suimíula a chur meanga gaíri ar aghaigh daoine, no a chuir ag macnaimh iad.

Is tráthuil an bliain é, ceilíuradh a dheineamh ar shaothar. Ach tá coiste seo Feile na Laoch ag roinnt a sholas chun árd, a tharrac ar laochra eile leis ionas go stopaigh daoine agus macnaimh, a dheineamh ar saibhreas atá ina saol de bharr gníotharthái daoine eile.

Níl airegead fluírseach na laethanta seo agus tá a lan daoine faoi brú. Cabhroígh a saothar san linn, chun deileáil leis an gcruatan a bhainneann le saol an lae inniu. Beidh na ealaíóntóirí uilig taréis a shaothar a thabairt soar in aisce – Christy Moore, Glenn Hansard, Louis Stewart agus daoine eile.

Is cuimhin liom uair crua eile 1969-1970. Bhí muid i ndiaidh na barricades i MBeal Feirste agus fuair chara liom ceirnin ‘Ó Riada Sa Gaeity’. Cuimhin liom muidne ag eisteacht leis an ceol iontach seo. Bhí muid nios croaga i ndiadh sin inar n’anam s inar gcroí. Tá ár gceol go h’an tabhactach i saol an phobal. Agus bhí Seán Ó Riada mar laoch inar saol fosta.

Go mbeadh an Feile seo go h’iontach – meitheal mór – agus bheadh uair iontach anseo. Molaim a nduthracht agus molaim an féile seo do gach éinne sa bhaile nó I gcéin.

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