Funding crisis hits choir ‘for all ages’

Hopes that a funding resolution can be found to help a local choir continue have been voiced.

Set up in 2018, Ceol le Chéile is an intergenerational choir with members ranging in age from just seven years to those in their 90s.

An initiative of the Donegal Age Friendly Strategy, the choir provides social participation opportunities for older people and promotes intergenerational, social inclusion and cross-community activity between young people and older people across the county.


The choir has performed at many events including Earagail Arts Festival, Connecting for Life Conference, the Pan Celtic Festival and many more. In 2019, it won the National Age Friendly Recognition and Achievement Award.

During lockdown, Ceol le Chéile moved online to continue performing in a bid to uplift others.

The choir has been funded by Donegal County Council but at the latest meeting of Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District it was heard that that funding is to cease at the end of the year. Councillor Jimmy Kavanagh raised the issue at the MD meeting, asking if alternative funding could be sought.


Speaking to the Donegal News, Cllr Kavanagh said there has been much disappointment locally at the thought that the choir may not be able to continue.

“The choir members would love to keep it going. It is very good for the young and older alike. Many people have contacted me about it to express their disappointment and that is why I asked at the meeting if funding had been stopped or if any alternative means could be sought.”

Cllr Kavanagh did not receive a response on the day but he and choir members are hopeful of a resolution.


“This choir has been going for a couple of years. It is funded by Donegal County Council and they also have an arrangement in place with the now ATU regarding practising. It’s a very successful choir and they have done various concerts.

“Funding applies for a year at a time. In fairness, the council kept the funding going throughout the pandemic. I would imagine that a huge amount of funding is not involved, and that hopefully other funding sources could be sought.”

Cllr Kavanagh said the benefits of being in a choir are well known.

“Choirs are used as social prescribing in England. There are great benefits to a person’s mental health and health generally with being involved in a choir.”

Cllr Kavanagh said he is still awaiting a response from Donegal County Council. The Donegal News also asked for a response. It had not been received at press time.

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