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Gradam Ceoil TG4

Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí – Outstanding Contribution Award


This organisation was formed in the early 1980s to help support and promote the art of fiddle playing in the Donegal tradition. Led by musician/researcher/author Caoimhín MacAoidh and fiddle-maker, Rab Cherry, the organisation’s core mission is to strengthen Donegal fiddle playing at its roots, and to improve standards, promote participation in all aspects of Donegal fiddle music and encourage the transmission of the Donegal styles and repertoire. The organisation’s main events include the annual Donegal Fiddlers’ Summer School in Glencolmbcille and the October Donegal Fiddlers’ Meeting Glenties. Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí has issued a substantial body of recordings by fiddle players, past and present, and shares a wealth of information about fiddle styles and associated history and folklore on its website, This site also offers a suite of fiddle lessons by contemporary Donegal fiddlers as well as the unique Musical Landscape project, a cartography mapping fiddlers and their stories across the county.

Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí’s monumental efforts in preserving local traditions and nurturing a vibrant musical community have left an indelible mark in Donegal and beyond. Its influence extends to every fiddle player in the county, from legendary figures like Tommy Peoples to contemporary icons like Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, and rising stars like Megan Nic Fhionnghaile. The diverse and dynamic crop of contemporary fiddle players across Donegal stands as a testament to the profound impact of this organisation’s contribution.

Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí operates as a not-for-profit voluntary organisation and any income generated is invested directly into their events, programmes, publications, projects and support for living artists. Its mission is supported by An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council who provide vital financial support for this work.