Presentation of the European Citizen's Prize to Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, 24 January 2015
Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, one of the winners of the 2014 European Citizen's Prize, will be presented with their medal of honour by Sinn Féin MEPs Martina Anderson, Lynn Boylan, Matt Carthy and Liadh Ní Riada at an award ceremony to take place at the Brú Ború theatre, Cashel, Co. Tipperary on Saturday 24th January. Comhaltas were nominated for the prize by the Sinn Féin MEPs.
Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann is the largest group involved in the promotion of Irish traditional music and the Irish language. It is world renowned and has members from hundreds of cultures. The non-profit group teaches music, dance and language classes through a network of branches. It provides a perfect setting for people to share their love of culture. Comhaltas branches aid understanding of different cultures and traditions for immigrants to Ireland. Comhaltas is also important for Irish emigrants, in the EU and beyond, to make friends in their new homes. Many Comhaltas branches run exchange programmes with other EU cultural organisations which assist and enhance the long-term, cross border and transnational efforts of other bodies. In 2014 Comhaltas achieved a milestone in the Peace Process in bringing the Fleadh Ceoil, all Ireland annual music competition to Derry. It was the first time in 60 years that it was held in the north of Ireland.
European Citizens Prize
Every year, the European Parliament awards "The European Citizen's Prize". This prize is awarded to citizens or organisations having contributed to promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the Member States; or to facilitating cross border or transnational cooperation contributing to the strengthening of a European spirit.
Ireland had two winners in 2014. Along with Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, the Blue Star programme teachers, nominated by MEP Sean Kelly, were also among the winners
A representative of both Comhaltas and Blue Star will travel to Brussels to take part in a joint event for all winners on 25-26 February 2015.