The Leixlip Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was founded on 25th February 1981. The interest grew from a group of dancers who were participating in the GAA Scór competition. Its formation was also a response to an increasing interest in Irish culture, music, song and ‘an ghaeilge’ in the rapidly growing town. The branch set up music and dancing classes in Coláiste Chiaráin and these grew from strength to strength and today over 120 children and adults attend branch classes in a variety of instruments, sean nós dancing, grúpaí cheoil and band sessions in Scoil Uí Dhálaigh every Monday. Musicians also have an opportunity to meet and play tunes during monthly branch sessions.
In the 80’s the branch eagerly participated in Scoraíocht, Ceol an Gheimhridh and Ceoltraí competitions with great success but in more recent years the branch prides itself in the success of its members in County, Leinster and All Ireland Fleadhanna Cheoil and members have also represented CCÉ abroad.
In 1991 the branch changed its name to Craobh Bheartla Uí Fhlatharta to remember one of its founders Beartla Ó Flatharta RIP a musician and singer who worked tirelessly to promote all aspects of our culture.
The work of the branch is not focussed on classes alone. There has always been an emphasis on delegates being part of the CCÉ movement at Kildare County Board, Leinster Council and Árd Comhairle committees. Leixlip CCÉ has successfully hosted County fleadhanna and has invited numerous musicians to our recitals. To expose the younger musicians to the many traditional styles we have travelled to branches in Sligo, Tyrone, Tipperary, Westmeath, Omagh and Louth to participate in workshops and sessions.
The work of the branch has been recognised in the locality and Leixlip Town Council awarded a Civic Award to many of its members over the years. The council also recognised the work of the branch on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.
The current committee carry on the great work and are confident that the branch will continue to promote the aims and objectives of Comhaltas into the future.