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Our History

In 1951, a new organisation “Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann” had been established in Ireland by passionate traditional players, to teach and promote the music of Ireland, and had a growing network of branches across Ireland. Six years later, the first branch outside of Ireland was established in Glasgow, where a huge community of Irish immigrants had settled. Comhaltas sessions happened in community spaces such as pubs and community halls, which provided the basis of a ready-made community when people immigrated to Britain from Ireland.

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The History of Comhaltas in Britain  

Comhaltas in Britain grew through the settlement of Irish diaspora communities in the UK. As more people landed in Britain in the 1950s to make a life for themselves, whether through choice or through need, a sense of belonging and community became incredibly important, especially in a place that could be hostile to Irish communities. Music became a tool for expression, belonging and an important coming together point, both between musicians, and non-musicians who attended sessions to hear the music played, and to spend time with their friends and family. These communities of people playing music served a dual purpose of developing and teaching technical traditional skill, but also forming communities and providing reasons for people to congregate. 

Help us continue to bring a community of all ages together to learn, share and experience the culture of Ireland by Fundraising for us.

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