A Bright Future Ahead for Longford’s Sé Chairde

sé chairde

There are few traditional music enthusiasts in Longford and the surrounding areas who have not yet heard the name ‘Sé Chairde’.

The group of talented teenagers from the Edgeworthstown area have taken the world of trad by storm in the two years they have been together.

With an average age of less than 14 years old, the popular band consists of Laura Packenham on whistle and bodhrán; Mikey Doyle on button accordion; Ciarán Mulligan on fiddle; Mary Sheridan on whistle and bodhrán; Lorna Beer on fiddle and Grace Ross on guitar, bodhrán, banjo and sean nós dancing.

Brought together by Pauline Flood to compete in last year’s Community Games U14 competition, the group qualified for the All-Ireland. They returned for the U16 competition this year, and won the county competition, scoring a bronze in the All-Ireland Games in August.

Outside of the Community Games, the first, second and third year students have proven to be excellent buskers, topping the Junior category at the inaugural busking competition at the Longford County Fleadh, as well as the Rooskey Heritage Festival.

Talking about their success, a mother of one of the group members, Ann Mulligan said, “It’s a testament to two years together and all the practicing they’ve done.”

As their success grows, so too does their popularity, and they have played around the region for various festivals and events. Invited by Eugene Murphy to play for a second time in Tulsk, Sé Chairde have also been named among the line-up for a December fundraiser at St Mary’s Church.

With the backing of their supportive parents, the six talented teenagers have been tutored by Elaine Reilly, with the assistance of Maeve Donnelly. Acknowledging the hard work put in by their tutors, the group also wish to thank Frank Kilbride, who provides Sé Chairde with a space to rehearse.

After a hugely successful few months, the teenagers will be busy now as they return to school and keep up group rehearsals. Though the Fleadhs and festivals have finished for another summer, you can guarantee that we’ll be hearing plenty more from Sé Chairde in the not-too-distant future.