Galway harpist Úna Ní Fhlannagáin, from Craughwell in Galway originally but now living in Bearna, took home the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal for harp in the final broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from Cork.
Úna, who is related to the Keanes of Caherlistrane, is one of the co-founders of the Athenry School of Music, and teaches harp across the county, as well as teaching music in Coláiste an Eachréidh in Athenry. Speaking in an interview on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Monday after her win, Úna spoke of her family’s musical background.
Her father, John Flanagan, is a singer, and her grandmother Nora was a sister of Sarah and Rita Keane. As well as playing traditional music, Úna also plays jazz, pop, and her own original compositions.
Úna was presented with the Seán Ó Riada medal, which is made in solid silver, and will now have her name engraved on it by goldsmith Pádraig Ó Mathúna, before it is covered in gold. The competition this year was also open to pipes, and Éanna Ó Cróinín, from the Meath Gaeltacht of Ráth Cairn, took home that prize. As part of the prize, Úna and Éanna will also share €2500.