History The Tullamore Branch of CCE will celebrate its 23rd birthday later in the year, having been formed at a meeting in the Phoenix Arms Hotel (now gone) in November 1984.

The first Secretary was the late Pauline Bracken of Ballyboy and other founder members no longer with us were Paddy Callaghan, Paddy Grogan and Paddy Mann. Others who definitely attended were: Paddy Duffy (Offaly Co Board), Frank Brennan, Sheila Daly, Gerry and Geraldine McGarrigle, Tom Nolan and Tony Monaghan. Other attendees please contact Tony Monaghan, the original minute book is not available.

There have been many highlights including:

Annual Branch Concert featuring artistes like Mary Bergin, Noel Hill,  Bobby Gardiner etc.

Comhaltas Tour Of Ireland Concert, 1988.

Annual Christmas and Summer Junior Concerts.

Music Classes annually, both junior and senior.

Music workshops with many well known names

Céilí and Set-Dancing Classes.

Annual Pub Quiz.

Organising and participating in various charity Events.

Musical contribution every year to the Tullamore St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Regular participation in Fleadhanna Cheoil and other Comhaltas events

The musicians, singers and dancers of Tullamore CCE performed with distinction on the Gig Rig in both O’Connor Square and Market Square during the Fleadh! A DVD of the event was launched during a celebration recently in Tullamore pitch & Putt Club. A presentation of a beautiful bog oak clock was also made to Billy Dowling to mark his success in the Senior Rogha Ghléas competition.

The Branch made its first trip abroad when a 30 strong group visited Luxembourg on the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2008. It was a wonderful occasion and extremely enjoyable. Workshops were conducted by Frank Brennan (fiddle), Mary Brennan (flute) Noel Devery (Traditional solo dancing) and Tony Monaghan (Traditional singing). The group also staged a one hour show on the Saturday evening with the Irish Ambassador to Luxembourg, Mr Martin Burke, as special guest.  The action packed weekend also featured sessions, trips and guided walks. A DVD of the occasion is almost ready and will be launched before the Annual concert.

In fact, this is the second Branch of Comhaltas in Tullamore. A Branch was founded, by the late Dan Cleary among others, in the early 1950s. Dan was a fine local musician and music teacher who was instrumental in forming a number of Branches in the Midlands.



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