‘Comhaltas - The Living Tradition 1951-2011.

The exhibition is about the unique nature of the Irish Music Movement and its connections with people; past and present in Ireland and overseas. The Comhaltas 60 exhibition traces the development of the CCÉ from its background and formation in Mullingar in 1951 to its greatest flowering during the 2000’s. The aim of the exhibition is to help communicate understanding of one of the most important cultural movements in Ireland as well as presenting the traditional of music, song and dance which has witnessed a renewed popularity.


The exhibition design and content research was approached with a focus on mainstream ‘public’ audiences as well as the Comhaltas community itself and provides an innovative, attractive and accessible exhibition which interest and stimulate visitors through both observation (printed and audio-visual displays and  and participation (trying out instruments).The Comhaltas exhibition was originally based on the Top Floor in The Cavan County Museum building in Ballyjamesduff County Cavan to correspond with Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2011. Since 2013, the exhibition has been on display at Comhaltas HQ ‘Cultúrlann na hÉireann ’ Belgrave Square, Monkstown, Co Dublin.


Many of the printed displays are reproduced on PVC banner material reflecting the customary vernacular graphics of Irish fleadhanna cheoil and festival. Text panels are kept brief and supplemented with photographs taken from the Comhaltas archive, projected images, audio visual recordings and albums and magazines. Both the Irish and English languages were used throughout the exhibition.


Among the objectives for the Visitor Experiences were;

  • to appreciate the superb musicianship of both young and more experienced musicians
  • to offer new modern meanings within traditional Irish music culture
  • to realise the social and cultural significance of the tradition
  • to gain an appreciation of the place of Comhaltas as an important community based organisation in the wider world of culture and the arts..


+353 86 2501 791



16 Oakdown Road,

Dublin D14 Y593, Ireland

FIDI. Fellow of the Institute of Designers in Ireland. © 2021 Martin Gaffney. All Rights Reserved


Space for Culture

Main Street, Killeshandra, Co. Cavan