05 Oct 2022

Feis Dhoire Cholmcille celebrating 100th birthday

Special Irish language competition to mark momentous milestone

The logo of the iconic Feis Dhoire Cholmcille

The logo of the iconic Feis Dhoire Cholmcille

The iconic Feis Dhoire Cholmcille or Derry Feis is celebrating its 100th birthday this Easter week.

To mark the momentous occasion, each feis unit: An Teanga, An Ceol, History, Classical Music, Rinnce and Speech and Drama, is hosting its own special centenary competition.

In An Teanga (Irish language), the centenary competition has a primary school and a post-primary school section.

Speaking to Derry Now, Míċeál-Piaras Ó Ceallaigh, who is co-organising An Teanga with Feis Dhoire Cholmcille stalwart, Kathleen McGlinchey, said: “Is cúis mhór áthais dúinn dhá chomórtas speisialta do ‘An Teanga’ i dhá mhíle is a fiche haon a fhógairt, chun comóradh céad bliain Feis Doire Colmcille a cheiliúradh.

“Ceann do dhaltaí bunscoile agus iarbhunscoile: ‘I dtrí chéad focal scríobh forógra ar do dhóchas do thodhchaí Éire Gaelach, go háirithe an teanga, don chéad bhliain eile atá le teacht, nuair a bheidh an Fheis dhá chéad bliain d'aois. Iarrfar ort do phíosa a léamh os ard don chomórtas agus a bheith i láthair nuair a thugtar an moltóireacht.”

“To mark 100 years of Feis Dhoire Cholmcille, we are pleased to announce two special competitions for An Teanga 2022.

“The first competition is for primary school students and the second competition is for post-primary school students. In 300 words, write a manifesto on your hopes for the Irish language for the next 100 years, when Feis Dhoire Cholmcille will be 200. You will be required to read your piece aloud for the competition and to be present when the adjudication is being made,” said Míċeál-Piaras.

Feis Dhoire Cholmcille stalwart, Kathleen McGlinchey.

Kathleen McGlinchey said she was delighted that all of the Feis winners would be receiving specially commissioned Feis Dhoire Cholmcille centenary medals this year, too.

She added: “After the heartbreaking decision to cancel the Feis in 2020 and 2021, we are really, really looking forward to welcoming back all our brilliant An Teanga competitors for our long-standing competitions.

“We would encourage all of the primary schools and post-primary schools to get involved this year, as well as anyone with an interest in the Irish language. There is sure to be great excitement and a mighty buzz in the Millennium Forum this Easter week. I can't wait.”

“The An Teanga competitions include: Poetry: (P1 or under 5), Peist by Gabriel Rosenstock; (P2 or under 6) Peist by Gabriel Rosenstock; (P3 or 6 to 7), Smidin an Seilide; (P4 or 7 to 8) Prionsa na bhFrog by Art Ó Súilleabháin; (P5 or 8 to 9) Liathróid i bPáirc an Chrócaigh by Eamonn Ó Ríordáin; (P6 or 9 to 10), An Ghaoth Aduaidh; (P7 or 10 to 11), Mise Éire by Pádraig Mac Piarais; (Year 8 of 11 to 12), An tEarrach by Tomás Mac Anna; (Year 9 or 12 to13), I d'Tosach an tSamhraidh by Seán Mac Fheorais; (Year 10 or Age 13 to 14), Is fuath liom na héadaí seo by Brendán de Bhál; and (Year 11 to 13 or age over 14), Cúl an Tí by Seán Ó Ríordáin.

“We also have the primary school Irish Choral Verse and the post-primary school Irish Choral verse competitions.

“To encourage our Irish language speakers, we have our Comhrá competitions, during which competitors will be asked to maintain a simple dialogue with the adjudicator. The questions will be provided in advance. There will be separate Comhrá competitions in each age group for youngsters who have attended bunscoileanna and those who have not,” said Kathleen.

The winners of the Comhrá competitions will receive a bursary for further tuition or towards fees to a Gaeltacht summer school.

The Comhrá competitions are as follows: Year 8 or Age 11 and under 12; Years 9 and 10 or Age 12 and under 14; and Year 11-13 or Age over 14.

Míċeál-Piaras said he was particularly looking forward to the Irish story telling competitions, primary and post-primary.

He added: “Another favourite of mine is the Ultach Trust cup competition, where a solo competitor or group create and present an item suitable for the medium of radio or TV.

“The Cur i Láthair presentations always provide plenty of food for thought as the young people give a speech, between three and five minutes long, on a topic of their own choice.

“There are two separate competitions for age 11 and under 14 and age over 14.

“Finally, we have the primary school Irish drama competition and the post-primary school Irish drama competitions.

“These are group performances using dialogue in Irish with optional music, song and dance,” said Míċeál-Piaras.

The adjudicator of An Teanga in this historic year is Derry man, Gearóid Ó Dochartaigh, who now teaches in Dublin City University.

Anyone who is looking for more information about An Teanga can contact: Kathleen McGlinchey on: 028 7126 8528 or Míceál-Piaras Ó Ceallaigh: 0044 7999497103 or email:

All information on Feis Dhoire Cholmcille can be read at: or on the Derry Feis Facebook page.

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