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Young Musical Ambassadors from Laois and Offaly to perform at EU Presidency Event

On Tuesday 28th May, Spéirling, an emerging contemporary traditional Irish Music group from the midlands will perform for international delegates attending the European Social Fund Conference in Trinity College Dublin, a Department of Education and Skills event organised as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency. This talented group of eight musicians, who hail from Laois and Offaly, have been nominated by the Laois Music Education Partnership to represent their country on this international stage.

Spéirling, meaning Storm, came together in September 2012 for the Gael Linn competition, Siansa, and since then the group has enjoyed considerable success. In February 2013 the group won the Laois heats of the Irish Youth Music Awards (IYMA) in Portlaoise Youth Café, making the band the first traditional Irish group to qualify for the national finals of the IYMA in Liberty Hall. In preparation for the finals Spéirling hosted a fundraising event for Portlaoise Youth Café which raised €730. The band has also featured numerous times on Midlands 103 radio programme, Coppers and Brass.

Presently the band consists of Cathal O’Connor (banjo/mandolin), Dale McKay (bodhran), Bláíthín Tynan (vocals/button accordion), Sinead Keyes (concertina), Aisling Hickey (flute), Laura Callaghan (guitar), Ruth Hennessy (fiddle/harp) and Helen Brady (fiddle). The group seamlessly blend facets of the old tradition of Irish music with modern influences to create a new and exciting sound. The group’s unique sound is influenced by bands such as Goitse and Ciorras.

Music Generation is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Department of Education and Skills, Local Music Education Partnerships and many young musicians through the country on this ambitious performance programme to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.” said Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation. “We are very proud of our young musicians who are proving fine ambassadors on this international platform”.

One final event is scheduled over the remaining weeks of the EU Presidency, which will feature young performers from Mayo.

For further information please contact Music Generation, c/o Music Network, The Coach House, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2. 01 6719945 / /

Notes to editors: Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, initiated by Music Network and funded by U2 and The Ireland Funds, together with a range of local partners. Music Generation helps children and young people to access music education in their local area. Music Generation is currently established in Carlow, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo and Wicklow and works with Music Education Partnerships in each of these areas. Music Generation also works closely with the Department of Education and Skills who have committed to co-fund the programme with local Music Education Partnerships from July 2014. Visit for further information.