The traditional cultural centre in Mullingar - Aras an Mhuilinn - will continue with its summer of events each Wednesday evening at its Jail Hill venue beside the County Buildings.
The regional venue, which covers Westmeath, Laois, Longford, and Offaly, started its summer seisiúns on July 6, and will continue hosting them until August 10 for all interested singers, dancers, and storytellers from across the Midlands.
“Ceolteoiri an Mhuilinn is the resident group, made up of about 10 or 11 players. The Ceoltas from each of the four counties provide the music for the second part of the show,” said Áras chairman and former senator, Camillus Glynn.
Westmeath CCE did the honours on July 13 and Offaly on July 20, with Laois CCE taking the baton on July 27, and Longford on August 3. All four will get together for the finale on August 10, before the entire culture heads to Cavan for the national Fleadh the following week.
Mr Glynn pointed out the significance of having Áras on Mhuilinn on Mount Street, as it was on the very same street 60 years ago that the traditional movement - Ceoltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE ) - was born.
“The CCE was formed by a group best described as visionaries, and it’s now become a worldwide organisation,” said Mr Glynn.
The centre also provides set dancing on Monday nights in August, as well as Irish classes and musical classes.
Its Seisiún an Sathairn has hosted the Coppers and Brass show on Midlands Radio 3, as well as RTE1’s Cheili House, the Leinster comhaltas, coiste rince naisiúnta, and the Leinster CCE AGM.
In the immediate future the board is looking forward to opening a coffee shop, hosting a mouth organ conference, and launching a regional archive under the stewardship of Aodhán Ó Muineachan and Dan Liddy.
The Áras, which was opened by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen on the 60th anniversary of the inauguration of CCE last January, also hosts seminars, as well as selling and repairing musical instruments, “and will welcome other community groups to use the centre for their activities, subject to availabilty”.
Mr Glynn wanted to thank the Ballinagore-Castletown-Dysart-Loughnavalley community group which helps to run the centre, as well as the local FÁS office, Sean Lynch at the Mullingar Arts Centre, and county arts officer, Catherine Kelly.