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Conamara singer takes top prize at Feile na Mhí in Rath Chairn

By Matt Nolan

The Conamara sean-nós singer who took the prestigious Corn Uí Riada at Oireachtas na Gaeilge continued his winning run with another top prize at one of the most renowned Irish festivals around.

Colm Jimmy Ó Curraoin, from Na Mine, Indreabhán, triumphed as the outright winner of Corn Chóil Neaine Pháidín – showcasing exceptional talent in sean-nós singing – at Feile na Mhí in Rath Chairn, Co Meath, last weekend.

Earlier this month, at Oireachtas na Gaeilge in Killarney, Colm clinched the prestigious Corn Uí Riada with his captivating rendition of ‘Liam Ó Raghallaigh.’

Originally from An Trá Bháin in Leitir Móir, Colm’s singing was gifted to him by both of his parents, Jimmy “Colm Siobhán” Ó Curraoin and Maire “Joe Sheáin Tom” Ní Cheallaigh, themselves two great exponents of sean-nós singing.

Over the past year, Colm Jimmy has quietly emerged as one of Conamara’s great traditional singers. His singing expertise has now elevated him among the elite both here in Ireland and internationally.

In Meath last weekend, his performance was lauded for its unique portrayal of the ancient art linked with Conamara, potentially tracing its roots back to Na Fianna.

What sets Colm Jimmy apart more than anything is his remarkably detached yet captivating style.

With closed eyes and an entranced manner, his performances transport audiences through a storytelling journey steeped in the soul of Conamara.

His singing may seem unconventional to some accustomed to emotive performances through hand gestures, but Ó Curraoin is very different and original.

In Rath Chairn, Colm mesmerized his audience, evoking the spirit of his native land through a performance that pierced the silence. His songs encompass various facets of Irish life – love, nature, laments, and humor – often weaving narratives around local events.

Colm Jimmy Ó Curraoin’s profound impact on traditional singing is undeniable.

Pictured: Colm Jimmy Ó Curraoin holding Corn Chóil Neaine Pháidín following his win in Rath Chairn.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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