SIBLINGS Micheál and Gráinne Fitzgibbon from Co. Limerick will be amongst the competitors taking part in the final for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal which will be broadcast live from Baile Bhúirne, Co. Cork, on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Friday 7 May at 7 pm.
This year, the traditional music competition is for harp and pipes, and there will be fifteen finalists in total, eight on harp and seven on pipes.
Micheál (19) and Gráinne (24) Fitzgibbon are from Banogue, Co. Limerick, and have been immersed in music from a very young age. Their mother, Sheila Cagney, is a teacher in Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s Castleconnell, Ahane, Herbertstown branch, and visiting musicians and céilí band practice were a regular feature of their home life growing up.
It’s probably a good thing for familial relations that the siblings won’t be competing directly against each other in the final, as Gráinne will be on harp, and Micheál on pipes. Micheál is also an accomplished harper, and in fact the whole Fitzgibbon family, all five siblings – Gráinne, Micheál, Louise, Caoimhe and Liam – all play harp, so there’s music in their veins.
Peadar Ó Riada will present the final on his programme Cuireadh chun Ceoil on RTÉ RnaG and the esteemed musicians who will judge the competition will include talented Limerick musician Michelle Mulcahy from Abbeyfeale, as well as Mick O’Brien and Laoise Kelly. They will have the unenviable task of picking a winner on each instrument, each of whom will receive a Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal and €2500.
There will be no audience this year due to public health restrictions, but people can watch the final live on RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Facebook page and at cuireadhchunceoil.ie, where they can show their support for the musicians.
The final will be managed in full compliance with the current public health guidelines.
The final for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal competition will be broadcast live on the Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Friday 7 May from 7 pm to 9.30 pm.