Éabha Ní Mhurchú, 14, from Ovens, Co. Cork, will be the youngest musician taking part in the final for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in Cork on Friday 11 March. The event will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
Éabha is a concertina player and also plays whistle. She took home the Dympna O’Sullivan Memorial Cup from Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2019 in the U12 concertina competition. There will be fifteen musicians in total competing in the final this year, five of those from Cork, and twelve in total from Munster, a very strong showing for the province!
This year’s competition is for metal reed instruments – box, melodeon, mouth organ and concertina – and Peadar Ó Riada will present the final live from the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork. The winner will receive the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal and €2500.
Well-known musicians Mary MacNamara, Noel Hill and Charlie Harris will have the unenviable task of picking the winner, and as well as technical accuracy in the playing, they will also be looking for musicality and heart.
The other finalists this year are Aaron Glancy from Geevagh, Co. Sligo; Amhlaoibh Ó Síocháin Ó Beoláin from Fermoy, Co. Cork; Antóin Ó Cathail from Ballycotton, Co. Cork; Aoife Murphy from Listowel, Co. Kerry; Clíona Halley from Castlemartyr, Co. Cork; Colm de Brun from Cree, Co. Clare; Damien O’Reilly from Corofin, Co. Clare; Éimhear Flannery from Rockchapel, Co. Cork; Joseph Mannion from Colligan, Co. Waterford; Maura O’Connor from Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick; Ruby Falvey from Ballylongford, Co. Kerry; Ryan Sheridan from Ballintogher, Co. Sligo; Sárán Ó Maolagáin from Dundalk, Co. Louth; and William Holmes from Rathcabbin, Co. Tipperary.
The event will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Friday 11 March from 7pm, and also broadcast live on their Facebook page. Tickets are €10, and can be booked with the hotel in advance, or paid at the door.
This year’s sponsors are RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Iontaobhas Fódhla, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Gael Linn, IMRO and the Rochestown Park Hotel.
Photo: Peader O Riada with 2021 Winners Fionnuala Donlan & Colm Broderick