Who Took Home the Prize?: Feis Programmes, 1898–1943

ITMA regularly collects printed and digital programmes from festivals and events which feature Irish traditional music and musicians. As well as a rich source of information and photographs, they are also a diary of the traditional music year and in some cases the only record of a local event or musical performance by an individual or group. In February 2010 ITMA uploaded here a first tranche of printed feis programmes dating between 1910 and 1963. We are now enriching this online collection with an 1898 Belfast Feis Ceoil programme and those of feiseanna held in Cork, Carlow, Dublin, Letterkenny and Drogheda, 1911−1943.  

This second tranche continues to provide ‘a fascinating picture of contemporary Irish social life, as well as details on many competitors and adjudicators, famous and unknown; on music shops and music publishers; and on the music, song and dance specified for performance’. We urge you to look through the names of competitors to find for example a relative adjudicated by Eamonn Ó Gallchobhair (vocal music), Miss Kitty O’Doherty (instrumental music) or R. Mac Gabhann (dance) in St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal 29−30 June 1940. The many advertisements show the vibrancy of the local business economy in 1940s Drogheda including the Eamonn Mac Aodh Ceilidhe Band with ‘eight members, own amplification [and] moderate terms.’ Do you know the uilleann piper who won the Rowsome Challenge Cup in the Mansion House in Dublin in 1941? And which Irish War Pipe Band took home the £ 5 prize in Carlow in 1913? Was it: Piobairi Airt-Mic-Murcoda, Inis-Corthaid; Goresbridge Pipers’ Band; Tullamore Pipers’ Band; Brownstown War Pipe Band or the De Lacy War Pipe Band from Ferns?

ITMA would be delighted to hear from relatives or individuals who can tell us more about the people named in these programmes or the events themselves. Contact us at [email protected]  If you have or know of similar event programmes, ITMA would be grateful to have the opportunity to scan these to add to our collection.

GT, MG & SC, 1 October 2016