Feis Maitiú is seeking more volunteers to ‘carry it forward’

Director Tim McCarthy said that coming up to its centenary in 2027, it is in need of new vision and new people to carry the torch.
Feis Maitiú is seeking more volunteers to ‘carry it forward’

Performers Killian and Ultan McCarthy from Blackrock practicing before their performance at Feis Maitiu 2020.  Picture: Ger Bonus.

ORGANISERS of the Feis Maitiú Corcaigh want new volunteers and ideas to keep the 95-year-old tradition of singing, music, and speech and drama alive.

Director Tim McCarthy said that coming up to its centenary in 2027, it is in need of new vision and new people to carry the torch.

While records of the early days of the Cork Feis are scarce, 300 people performed at the first, which was established in 1927 by Fr Micheál O’Shea, a local Capuchin who saw the need for a platform to help and encourage people interested in the performing arts.

The feis has become one of the largest of its kind in the country. Few people have grown up in Cork without some memory of performing a song or a poem in Father Mathew Hall in the heart of the city. Today, 15,000 people perform for adjudicators in the eight-week festival of music and drama.

Mr McCarthy, who has been director for over 30 years, said that as it has grown, it is no longer possible or viable for one person in his position to hold so much responsibility for such a culturally significant event.

“At the moment, I am the sole administrator, looking after the admin elements, and I’m not invincible.

“Even though I have a very, very good team, it would be a challenge. That’s why we need to look at a new management structure going forward.”

Mr McCarthy said that the centenary will be a chance to look back, but also forward, to sustainability and succession.

“We are the current custodians of it now, and our duty is to pass it on,” Mr McCarthy said. “We do need to create a structure, so that others are able to continue it on.”

He and his team are putting out the call for anyone who is interested in getting involved, in helping where they can, and in “taking the feis forward into its next centenary”.

They will be holding four open days in the run-up to the 2023 feis, starting next February. The first open day is on Saturday, November 5, from 10:30am to 1pm.

Anyone interested is invited to call into Father Mathew Hall for a chat about how they would like to contribute to the feis, or share ideas about how its management might be reimagined.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more