Comhaltas honour a number of people every year at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann who have made a significant contribution to the promotion of a variety of aspects of traditional Irish culture. This year we are delighted to announce Maura Walsh Lixnaw CCE in being honored with this prestigious award. Congrats Maura from CCE Kerry County Board and all it’s members in Kerry.
Maura Walsh from Lixnaw began her musical career at the young age of just seven. At that time, the Ceolann building in Lixnaw was not in existence so music classes were taught locally at the old dispensary by Brian Keane (brother of the late Diarmuid O’Cathain). In later years, she went on to learn music from Ann & Nicky McAuliffe, who imparted to her, their vast repertoire of music & it’s cultural heritage.
It was Diarmuid O’Cathain’s lifelong vision to have a purpose built venue where cultural activities would be taught and preserved, thus the Ceolann opened it’s door in 1985. Diarmuid was also a major musical influence to Maura. He brought Ireland’s finest musicians, dancers and singers to the Ceolann for annual ‘Celebrity Concerts’ over the years. The list of names is endless but to mention a few – Joe Burke, Seamus Connolly, Brian Conway, Eileen O Brien, Willie Fogarty, Martin Connolly, Kathleen Nesbitt, Paddy Ryan were regular artistes. This exposure to high quality music at such a young age had a major influence on Maura in her formative years.
Maura went on to win a senior All Ireland Concertina title in Clonmel in 1993. She toured extensively over the years with groups such as Ceol Chiarraí, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and Siamsa Tíre, taking her to Europe, America, Australia, Dubai & Singapore. She also worked as co-producer on Irish, UK & American Comhaltas tours.
She teaches extensively at local and national level and featured at summer schools such as the Scoil Eigse at the All-Ireland. She has had numerous success with her students competing at provincial and All Ireland level. She works also as a tutor on the TTCT teachers course which is governed by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.
Maura is a highly-respected musician, teacher and adjudicator for many years and continues to pass on her knowledge, love and passion of the traditional music to her students.
“We in Kerry CCÉ are very proud of Maura and congratulate her on her achievement.”