Cormac Begley wins Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal

Sunday, 9 February 2014, 9.25pm

Kerry musician Cormac Begley was announced as the winner of the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in the final broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork on Friday 7 February.

Cormac is a member of the well-known Begley musical family from Corca Dhuibhe, West Kerry.  A concertina and baritone concertina player, he grew up in the Kerry Gaeltacht surrounded by music, but only started playing himself at 17.  After winning the competition in Cork, Cormac departed late in the night for Dublin airport and a flight to Rome for a concert there.  He will shortly be going on a two month tour to New Zealand and Japan with group Rian, which he plays in with Liam Ó Maonlaí, among others.

Cormac has been living in Galway for the last number of years, studying for a Doctorate in Psychology in NUIG.  There, he initiated the concert series ‘Tunes in the Church’, which he has run over the last number of years, in St Nicholas’s Cathedral in Galway.

After receiving his award, he said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted with the prize but I wasn’t expecting it at all, there were so many great musicians playing tonight in the final.  I feel this competition is unique because it celebrates music in all its different styles, and it was a brilliant experience to be a part of that, and an honour to win it.’

Cormac won the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal, and a cash prize of €2000.

The judges were renowned musicians Noel Hill, Mick Mulcahy and Charlie Harris.

Bonn Óir Seán Ó Riada do Chormac Begley

Is é Cormac Begley as Ciarraí a thug leis Bonn Óir Seán Ó Riada sa chraobh den chomórtas a craoladh beo ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta ó Óstán an Rochestown Park i gCorcaigh oíche Aoine, 7 Feabhra.

Duine de mhuintir ceolmhar Uí Bheaglaoich as Corca Dhuibhne é Cormac.  Casann sé an consairtín agus an consairtín íseal (baritone).  Bhí ceol ina thimpeall agus é ag fás aníos, ach níor thosaigh sé féin ag seinm go raibh sé 17 nó mar sin.  I ndiaidh dó an bonn a bhaint oíche Dé hAoine, b’éigean dó an bóthar a bhualadh go aerfort Bhaile Átha Cliatha do thuras chun na Róimhe, áit a raibh ceolchoirm aige.  Is gearr anois go mbeidh sé ag tabhairt faoi chamchuairt go dtí an Nua Shéalainn agus an tSeapáin leis an ngrúpa Rian, a bhfuil Liam Ó Maonlaí, Maitiú Ó Casaide agus Eithne Ní Chatháin ina mbaill dó freisin.

Bhí cónaí ar Chormac i nGaillimh le roinnt bliant anuas, áit a raibh sé i mbun staidéir do chéim dochtúireachta sa tsíceolaíocht.  Is ann a chuir sé tús leis an tsraith coirmeacha Tunes in the Church a reáchtáil sé in Eaglais San Niocláis i nGaillimh.

Dúirt Cormac: ‘Tá an-áthas orm mar gheall ar an duais seo, ach ní raibh súil agam leis in aon chor, shíl mé go raibh sé tuillte ag go leor de na ceoltóirí eile a bhí ar stáitse liom.  Ag an am céanna, braithim go ndéanann an comórtas seo ceiliúradh ar an gceol, agus ar na stíleanna difriúla ar fad, agus mar sin táim an-shásta, agus is mór an onóir dom an bonn seo a bheith buaite agam.’

Bhuaigh Cormac bonn óir agus €2000.

Ba iad na ceoltóirí iomráiteacha Noel Hill, Mick Mulcahy agus Charlie Harris a rinne moltóireacht ar an gcomórtas.

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