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Labhrás receives Gradam an Phiarsaigh Award

Tom Ryan ‘Tipperary Star’

It is appropriate in this the centenary year of the 1916 Rising that Mr. Labhrás Ó Murchú, Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, received this year’s Gradam an Phiarsaigh (Pearse Award) from Fondúireacht an Phiarsaigh.

It was recently presented at a ceremony in Cultúrlann na hÉireann, Dublin, by the President of the GAA, Aogán Ó Fearghaíl. The GAA President said that Labhrás Ó Murchú is ‘regarded as one of the leading figures in Irish cultural and political life over the last six decades. His commitment to Irish culture in its entirety, coupled with his evident talents and abilities, meant that Labhrás quickly became regarded by the founders and membership of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann as a leading light of the movement and a cultural visionary.’

Having founded Cumann an Phiarsaigh in Cashel in the 1950s to promote the ideals of Pearse, Labhrás Ó Murchú was subsequently a founder member of Fondúireacht an Phiarsaigh and is currently editor of Treoir journal and Chairman of the Irish Family History Foundation.

The diverse cultural heritage of the island of Ireland which inspires Labhrás Ó Murchú and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann permeates the thinking behind Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann which, in addition to the economic benefits it brings, plays a unique role in promoting reconciliation and cooperation across the island. In 2013 Comhaltas achieved a milestone in the Peace Process when it brought Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Ireland’s premier cultural festival, to Derry. This event attracted a record attendance of 430,000 visitors and generated £50m for the region. This historic All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil was the first ever to be held in the Six Counties. It removed barriers, embraced all communities and was an outstanding example of friendship, reconciliation and cooperation.

Since the 1980s Brú Ború in Cashel has been a state of the art flagship Comhaltas cultural centre under the committed directorship of Úna Ó Murchú, who was honoured for her contribution to the work of Comhaltas as the 2015 Gradam an Chomhaltais recipient.

Within Oireachtas na hÉireann Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú’s record is an impressive one. He has been a member of the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Seanad, Senator for the Cultural and Educational Panel, Seanad Spokesperson on Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs. He served on Environment, Culture and Gaeltacht Committees and was Vice-Chairperson of An Fóchoiste um an Stráitéis 20 Bliain do Ghaeilge 2010-2030 agus Rudaí Gaolmhara. In these many roles he has proved a constant and assiduous worker in areas as diverse as Irish culture and language, the environment, electoral reform and human rights. He was one of the prime movers in having the remains of the executed 1916 leader, Thomas Kent, transferred in September 2015 from his burial place in the Cork Military Prison to his local Castlelyons. He was also involved in having the remains of the ‘FORGOTTEN 10 VOLUNTEERS’ (including Kevin Barry) repatriated from Mountjoy Jail.

Labhrás Ó Murchú has received the Dublin Civic Award for his reconciliation and cultural work, having previously been named Tipperary Person of the Year by both the Ireland and Britain Associations respectively. Among others to receive the Dublin Civic Honour Award were Gay Byrne, Jack Charlton and Sr. Stanislaus. Labhrás received a Civic Reception from Tipperary County Council in January 2016, the first ever individual to be honoured in this way.

The diverse cultural heritage of the island of Ireland which inspires Labhrás Ó Murchú and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann permeates the thinking behind Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann which, in addition to the economic benefits it brings, plays a unique role in promoting reconciliation and cooperation across the island.

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Ardstiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and former member of Seanad Éireann.
© 2020, Labhrás Ó Murchú

Contact

An Bóithrín Glas, Caiseal Mumhan
Co. Thiobraid Árann

+353 1 2800295
labhras@comhaltas.ie

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