Gaoth Dobhair fiddler in final for Seán Ó Riada Medal

Talented Gaoth Dobhair fiddler Megan Nic Fhionnghaile will be one of the fourteen finalists who will compete for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in Cork on Friday, February 3.

Peadar Ó Riada will present the event live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Megan grew up immersed in the songs and music of the musicians of the Gaoth Dobhair area.


She has won many awards for her playing, including most recently the Oireachtas Senior Fiddle title, and Young Musician of the Year at the Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival 2022.

Megan was a featured soloist in the recent TG4/BBC Alba documentary series, Sruth, exploring the links between young Irish and Scottish musicians.

She has played alongside many of Ireland’s most celebrated musicians, and graduated with a BA degree in Irish Music from the University of Limerick in 2022.

The Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal competition is a prestigious traditional music competition that focuses on a different instrument every year over a four-year cycle, and this year it is for fiddle.

The competition attracted the highest ever number of entries this year since its inception in 2010.  There are five US musicians in the final on February 3, the highest ever number of finalists from abroad, as well as fiddlers from across the island of Ireland.

The judges for this year’s competition are esteemed traditional musicians Connie O’Connell, Éamon McGivney and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh.

The winner of the competition will take home the bespoke gold medal, as well as €2500.


Tickets to the event can be bought on the door for €10, and it will be broadcast live on RTÉ RnaG and streamed live.

Competition organiser Peadar Ó Riada said he is very happy with the development of the competition over the last 13 years and its place in the international world of traditional Irish Music.

“Radio makes the world grow smaller and the competition has attracted entrants from across the world through the Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme.  The calibre of this year’s entrants is as high as it’s ever been and we believe the competition is setting a standard, and this is due in great part to the quality of its adjudicators over the years.   We hope that trad audiences will tune in on the night, and we’ll also have the live stream as we do every year,” he said.

The competition is sponsored by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Iontaobhas Fódhla, Gael Linn, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, IMRO and the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.

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