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Dóchas don todhchaí – Hope for the Future

7 April 2021 | By Munster Technological University

Image | Cork Gaeltacht

St. Patrick’s Day (Lá le Pádraig) is a chance to celebrate all that is Irish and to really embrace the culture and heritage of our beautiful country. Whilst in Ireland, this Patricks Day could not be marked with the usual parades, music and dancing, Coiste Forbartha Bhéal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, through an online concert, took this opportunity to really showcase the intangible cultural heritage and the scenic landscape of this small village in Gaeltacht Mhúscraí.

The concert ‘Ceolchoirm Lá le Pádraig 2021’ was originally created as a means of entertaining the elderly and cocooning during this socially isolating and difficult time but ended up connecting an entire community, both within the region and across the world, and enabled them to participate in Lá le Pádraig.

Nóirín Uí Thuama, one of the main organisers, stated that ‘Dóchas (Hope) was the main theme of the concert’ and she wanted to thank the brave and talented individuals who gave up their time to contribute to the video and also thank those who helped in any way with the project.

The organisers of the ceolchoirm advertised locally requesting 5min taped-at-home videos from those currently living in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaigh or those born in the village but have since moved away. The hope was to receive around 20 videos but they ended up with over 80 videos of people playing traditional music, singing songs using a variety of traditional techniques such as lilting (an old form of singing) and Sean Nos singing, Irish dancing, reciting poetry, and storytelling. The age profile of the performers was between 4 years old and 87 years old which truly emphasizes how alive ICH in the region is.

Additionally, as a result of funding received through Comharchumann Forbatha Mhúscraí, the video was edited to display footage of the landscape over some of the musical elements, showcasing the regions natural beauty.

The video, which you can watch below, incorporates all facets of Irish culture, and a wide variety of age groups embracing it really gives us dóchas don todhchaí (hope for the future). You can also find out more about Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh in their community website bealatha.ie or Ballingeary.com

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