It is with great joy and enthusiasm that the PanCeltic delegations from Alba, Breizh, Cymru, Éirinn, Mannin and Kernow return to Leitir Ceanainn to celebrate the 48th International Pan Celtic Festival while the many highlights of last year’s festival are still fresh in our minds. We look forward on this trip to reconnecting with friends, creating new cultural experiences and renewing our commitment to our shared Celtic heritage. This annual celebration offers an opportunity for us all to become better acquainted with the similarities and the differences of each nation within that shared heritage, to learn from each other and to take strength from the power of the collective so that we are reinvigorated, ready to engage once again in the necessary measures to overcome the myriad threats to our languages, identities, traditional arts and culture when we return home.
The Mayor of Leitir Ceanainn, Cllr. Ian McGarvey, and Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Séamus Ó Domhnaill, have both been great advocates of the Pan-Celtic. Donegal County Council Fáilte ón gCathaoirleach Idirnáisiúnta has been generous and steadfast in providing support in many forms to ensure the success of the festival. It is due to the commitment of the Councillors and the Officers of the County Council that doors and hearts were opened to us and I thank them for their confidence in the Pan-Celtic and their belief in the ideals and principles of the festival. We are indebted to many others who have laboured extensively to prepare for the 2019 International Pan Celtic Festival - first and foremost, the multi-talented Christina O’Donnell, for overseeing and coordinating events, and to Charles Sweeney, Paddy Doherty, Máire Ní Fhearraigh, Róise Ní Laifeartaigh and Seán Ó Daimhín for their invaluable advice and assistance. A special word of thanks to the organiser of the Pan-Celtic Competitions, Louise Ní Dháibhéid, An tOireachtas.
Pan Celtic is very fortunate in Leitir Ceanainn to avail of some of the very best facilities in Ireland. I thank the management and staff of all the wonderful venues- the Grianán Theatre, County Museum, Library, Regional Cultural Centre, Club Naomh Adhmhnán, Cumann Camógaíochta Dhún na nGall, the superb hotels, taverns and shopping centers, and most especially the teachers and students of Coláiste Ailigh.
I extend our gratitude to all the sponsors who support the festival, the volunteers who give so generously of their time and energy and the National Committees who prepare their delegations for travel and their performers for shows and competitions. I hope you enjoy the festival.
Máirín Nic Dhonnchadha
Cathaoirleach, Comhairle Idirnáisiúnta Pan-Cheilteach