A spokesperson for the Feis said: “The ethos of the feis from its foundation was the preservation of the Irish Language in all its different categories including singing drama and dancing.”
Among the new competitions is one for Feis veterans. There will also be a Gates of Derry Feis Cup and competitions for both primary and secondary level schoolchildren.
Back in November, Derry City and Strabane Councillors voted unanimously to work with the committee of Feis Dhoire Colmcille to assist and support them as they mark their centenary.
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Bringing the motion forward Aontú Councillor Emmet Doyle said: “The Feis Doire Cholmcille has been a cultural staple throughout the last 100 years in this city. Going back to Tuesday, June 27 to Friday, June 30, 1922, the first Feis which was organised in conjunction with the Gaelic League. It is steeped in history, indeed on the third day of the first competition around 700 participants took part. In the late 1990s there were around 6,000 participants.
“The committee that runs Feis is made up of volunteers, they put so much time and effort into this event, they are real cultural ambassadors when it comes to gaelic culture in this city and district.
“Over the hundred years of Feis Doire Cholmcille some of the best talent of this city and across the island have come through the competitions of the Feis. It is just as important to those who value gaelic culture as those who value the Jazz Festival, as Halloween, as St Patrick’s Day and should be treated as such.”
DUP Alderman Hilary McClintock agreed the Feis is ‘an institution within this city’, adding: “Many young people have not only taken their first step to fame and stardom, they have developed confidence and self esteem which has stood them in good stead throughout their lives.”
Sinn Fein Colr. Emma McGinley said: “A few of us will have our own memories of taking part in the Feis growing up. We have no doubt the centenary should be celebrated.”
SDLP Colr. Rory Farrell added: “Literally hundreds of thousands of children and young people have performed and competed in the Feis over the years and every one of our renowned cultural exports has cut their teeth and learned their trade on the stages of St Columb’s Hall, the Guildhall and more lately the Millennium Forum and Playhouse.”
The new competitions are as follows:
New Competitions for primary and post-primary children. Both these groups of competitors are being asked to write a manifesto on their hopes for the sustainability of the Irish Language over the next 100 years.
Speech and Drama
In this section there are two new competitions in different age groups from age 10yrs to over 14yrs. A short favourite poem or two to three verses from a longer favourite poem.
Open Traditional Story Telling Competition
Competitors to verbally present a story/ folktale about Derry.
Competitors to play an arrangement of Danny Boy Any arrangement or Instrument may be used.
An Ceol Section
Age 14-16yrs; Age Over 16yrs. Competitors to sing a popular song from any genre pop/rock/jazz etc.
Past participants from the Feis to sing one song of their own choice keeping within the ethos of the Feis.
The Gates of Derry Feis Cup - Open to Ceili Clubs and Community groups
Play any two Ruaidhri Dall O Cathain pieces.