15 October 2013
103 musicians played for 2 hours in the Largest Céilí Band in the World. The record will be submitted in the coming months to the Guinness Book of Records for approval as an official world record.
The event produced by William Hammond of the Cork Folk Festival was held at the Cork City Hall on Sunday 13th of October and it was free to the public. The Cork City Council Tourism and Arts Department supported the Céilí as part of the Gathering 2013. The Céilí band featured musicians and 400 dancers from 10 different countries who travelled to Cork to take part. Guest musicians included TG4 Gradam Ceoil award winner, Seamus Begley, Jeff Moore from the Texas Band ‘Aidan’, Ger Murphy accordion player with the Abbey Ceili Band, Martin Leahy drummer with the band North Cregg and Seán Ó Sé singer with Ceoltóirí Chualann.
The band played ‘as one’ for a full Céilí featuring Set Dances, Ceili Dances, Waltzes and Two Hand dances and at the end of the event all musicians were given a certificate to commemorate the event. It took 5 months of planning to organise the Céilí beginning in May with the choice of dances and tunes. The band members joined up via the Cork Folk Festival web site and were sent the music through Facebook, YouTube and Emails. The music featured over 50 local tunes including polkas, slides, jigs, reels and waltzes. The band came together for its first and only practice at the Cork School of Music on Saturday 12th of October, guided by genial band leader Ger Murphy. The musicians produced a joyous sound which lifted the roof of the City Hall. The dancing was led by six callers, Timmy McCarthy, Bertie and Annie Moran, Tony McCarthy and Fionan & Barrai Cogan who guided the dancers through the 2 hour Céilí.
The many visitors from abroad marvelled at it all and joined in with gusto. It is hoped this will be an annual event in the City that will attract hundreds of visitors from home and abroad.