Preserving Irish Culture in the Mohawk Valley
Who We Are - The Dugan Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, pronounced col-tus kyol-tory airin, was established in 1978 in Clinton, NY and later moved to Utica, NY. Comhaltas is a worldwide organization which has over 400 branches worldwide, and 50 branches in North America. The headquarters are located in Monkstown, County Dublin, Ireland. Our chapter's aims are non-political and non-religious and people of all ages participate in our events. Regular activities locally include music lessons, music jam sessions, Irish dance workshops, Ceilis (kay-lees), and language instruction at a local college.
Our Music - Our local chapter has close links with and maintains joint activities with the area’s cultural and arts organizations. A sampling of our annual events include St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Clinton Art & Music Festival, St. Johns Church Annual Irish party, Town of Western Heritage Days, Great American Irish Festival, Lock 20 Irish day celebration, and the Utica Relay for Life. Our instrumentation varies but most often we have a fiddle, accordion, bouzouki, flute, bodhran, guitar, harp, and small pipes. Our latest tune book can be found here.
Irish Folk Dancing - Irish music is dance music and our branch has a very active dance group. Our musical performances often include a lively presentation of traditional Irish folk dancing. We are always looking for people interested in becoming a Ceili dancer.
Learning the Language - Our branch has a strong commitment to teaching the Irish language. We offer classes in Irish Language at Herkimer County Community College.