Séamus and Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta at the RTÉ Folk Awards
Séamus and Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta at the RTÉ Folk Awards
Wednesday, 3 April 2024

Students and graduates of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWA) at University of Limerick have been praised for “pushing boundaries” in the creative and performing arts, on foot of their success at the Sixth Annual RTÉ Folk Awards.

The awards, which are broadcast live on RTÉ Radio 1, recognise the highest achievers in folk and traditional music in Ireland today. Established in 2018, the awards have consistently recognised the important role that UL plays in developing folk and traditional musicians today.

This year’s ceremony saw current students Caoimhe Ní Fhlatharta (BA Irish Music) and her brother, Séamus (Applied Languages) scoop the Best Emerging Artist award in a category that also featured IWA graduate Sorcha Costello (MA Music Therapy). Caoimhe and Séamus follow in the footsteps of 2023 winner Cathal Ó Curráin, a graduate of the BA Irish Music.

Caoimhe and Séamus walked away with a brace of awards on the night, also claiming the top spot in the Best Traditional/Folk Track category for their song ‘Seán Gabha’, a collaboration as part of new supergroup Bláth na hÓige, which also features Cathal Ó Curráin.

Professor Helen Phelan, Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, said: Caoimhe is an exemplary student who represents the Irish World Academy and UL on the national and international stage with distinction. She already embodies many of the key characteristics that we look for in our students. Caoimhe’s music is already courageous in its interrogation of the lines between tradition and innovation, drawing from her roots in sean-nós singing, yet pushing boundaries in harmony and arrangement. We are very proud of her achievements.”

Executive Dean of ULFaculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dr Sandra Joyce added: “I’m delighted to extend heartfelt congratulations to all the recipients of these prestigious awards, with a special commendation to our exceptional students, Caoimhe and Séamus. Witnessing their continued success fills us all at the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences with immense pride. It is also testament to the strength of the traditional arts at the Irish World Academy.”

The IWA was well represented at the event, with Artist-in-Residence Rhiannon Giddens in attendance to present the award for Best Folk Singer to Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin.