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John Goulding.png




Public Relations officer of Comhaltas in Britain

John shares his story about his journey with Comhaltas in Britain.

My Story

2nd of May 2024 

"Like many who joined Comhaltas at a young age, I came from an Irish background with my Father coming from county Kerry and my Mother from county Mayo in Ireland. They both met each other in Kilburn London, which has a big Irish diaspora community. While both my parents weren’t particularly musical themselves, my Father was a very accomplished Irish step dancer in his hometown and in North London. As a young man visiting Kerry I was aware of All Ireland Fleadhs in Listowel. However, it was through an encounter with Vince Jordan, former Uachtaran (Chair), that I finally found my way into Comhaltas. I took an interest in whistling when I was 7 years old and I’ve been entering the regional and provincial fleadhs since joining Comhaltas


I love the ethos of Comhaltas where everyone is welcome and included. With a background in training, I've always been impressed by the supportive atmosphere fostered by Comhaltas adjudicators. Their respectful and constructive feedback during competitions speaks volumes about the organisation's commitment to nurturing talent at every level.


9 years ago, I found my musical home in the Hastings branch in Sussex. Initially drawn to develop my whistling skills, I soon discovered a passion for volunteering in various capacities, from assisting adjudicators at Fleadhs to serving as a Regional Secretary and Provincial PRO. It's a privilege to contribute to such a worthwhile endeavour and to witness firsthand the transformative power of music within our community.

At Fleadhs and music lessons alike, I've seen how Comhaltas provides a safe and nurturing environment for people of all ages to explore their musical talents. It's a place where dynamic individuals at every level inspire others to reach new heights, and I'm proud to be a part of that journey.

Having trained adults in diversity, I understand the importance of celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Ireland. With Chan Reid, an accomplished singer, musician, and music teacher, at the helm of the Hastings branch, our collective passion for preserving and promoting Irish music continues. 

In the end, Comhaltas isn't just an organisation; it's an extended family—a group of diverse voices coming together to celebrate our shared heritage. As I continue on this musical journey, I'm grateful for the opportunity to play my part in preserving the heritage, history and culture of Ireland into the future."

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