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Formation of Loughbeg Branch

It was in the early 70s that Tommy Magee and Barney Duffin set about bringing together, under the umbrella of Loughbeg CCE, those who had a keen interest in the traditional music, song, dance and language of Ireland.

Over the Years

Very little is recorded of the early years but the first classes were held in Ballyscullion Hall with Tommy McGoldrick as tutor. Tommy was a well known fiddle player at that time but is probably now more widely known for his paintings.

Towards the end of the 70's the classes moved to a house adjacent to the McStocker Family home in the Moneyglass area under the watchful eye of Jimmy Halferty. A variety of instruments were catered for and as classes progressed a Junior Ceili band was set up to compete in Fleadh Competitions. Music sessions were held regularly in Ballyscullion Hall, O'Neill Arms Hotel in Toome and at a later stage the Kiwi Inn.

In the early 80's attendance at the classes dwindled and they eventually came to an end. Over the next decade the Loughbeg Branch almost faded from existence and it is only due to the dedication of a few Comhaltas followers (Phonsie & Fanny Agnew, Danny & Sarah O'Neill, Mary Laverty) that it survived.

Loughbeg II

The mid 90's saw a revival of the Loughbeg Branch due to the emergence of a 'new generation' of young talented musicians. In 1998 Loughbeg Branch in partnership with the neighbouring Cois Locha Branch successfully co-hosted the County Antrim Fleadh in the village of Toome. This was an outstanding success and many thanks to all who supported us.

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All-Ireland Winners
To crown our new found strength Loughbeg's junior members have collected All-Ireland Titles at the last four Fleadhs - Listowel ('01/'02) and Enniscorthy('99/'00). Our only previous All-Ireland title holder was Barry Magee at the Ennis Fleadh back in 1977.
Click on Medal to View Winners  

Our young musicians have joined forces with neighbouring Branches in the area to compete under the banner of Ceoltoiri Crosskeys in group competitions. This has proved a very successful venture and has resulted in All-Ireland honours for the 12-15 Ceili Band at Enniscorthy '99, the 15-18 Grupai Cheoil and 15-18 Trio at Enniscorthy 2000 and 15-18 Ceili Band at Listowel 2002. This is an outstanding achievement and has given a great boost to traditional music in the area.

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