THE TULLA CÉILÍ BAND THE MULCAHY FAMILY GATEHOUSE ÓRLAITH MCAULIFFE * DAITHÍ GORMLEY LIAM O'BRIEN * OISÍN MacDIARMADA BERNADETTE NicGABHANN CD LAUNCH BRÍD Ó GORMAN AND MANY MORE
The Tulla Traditional Music Festival, Féile Chnoc na Gaoithe, will take place on 19th, 20th and 21st May 2017. A weekend of music, song, dance, concerts, ceílí’s, workshops, CD launches, and fiddle competitions including the Young Fiddler of East Clare Competition.
Cnoc na Gaoithe (Windswept Hill), the Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre, is the 17th Comhaltas Cultural Centre in Ireland. The mission is to promote, preserve and showcase the rich Irish traditions and culture of the Tulla and the East Clare area.
The centre is situated in the heartland of East Clare, on top of the famous Hill of Tulla, an area renowned for traditional Irish music, song and dance. The name Cnoc na Gaoithe translates in English as the Windswept Hill, made famous by the late Kerry man Bryan MacMahon in his song “Lament for Tommy Daly” in praise of the great Tulla and Clare goalkeeper, Dr. Tommy Daly.
The Sisters of Mercy donated the Tulla Convent and Primary School buildings to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in October 2011. These buildings are being developed into the Cultural Centre, known as Cnoc na Gaoithe.
The Sisters have a long and distinguished association with Tulla since their arrival in 1883. The convent was built for them by the people of Tulla under the supervision of the clergy. The Sisters set up a small school in the convent and in 1885 they built a new Primary School and in 1957 they built a Secondary School which served a large area of East Clare.
The Tulla Comhaltas Branch was founded in September 1957 with a view to hosting Fleadh Cheoil an Chláir in 1958. The Fleadh of ’58 will go down in the annals of folklore as one of the greatest, memorable gatherings of the early years of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann.
The Clare Champion newspaper of the 9th of August 1958 gave the following description of the occasion: “Tulla was filled with abandon for two days and in an atmosphere of revelry the streets rang with the music of the piper, the fiddler and the accordionist, the lilts of the ballad singer and the merry tap of the dancer’s feet. From window and doorway came the strains of stirring airs….”
The Tulla branch of Comhaltas has flourished since 1957 nurturing and doing tremendous work to promote Irish music, song, dance and language. The branch has gone from strength to strength in recent years and now boasts of over 250 active members. It hosts the renowned Tulla Traditional Music Festival annually and has numerous well attended weekly activities such as informal music sessions for young and old, set dancing classes, traditional singing and Irish language classes.
Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Cnoc na Gaoithe, (3) Órlaith McAuliffe, (4) Mulcahy Family, (5) Oisín Mac Diarmada (unknown/website).