Fiddle champ Joel to represent Ulster at All-Ireland Fleadh

Pictured are Eugene Moran, Joel Bell and  Eamon Mitchell.INMM3313-348
Pictured are Eugene Moran, Joel Bell and Eamon Mitchell.INMM3313-348

A YOUNG traditional musician from South Derry has won the Ulster Fleadh for his age group.

Eleven-year-old Joel Bell, from the Loup, won the Under 12 fiddle and goes through to represent Ulster at the All-Ireland Fleadh in Derry this weekend.

Joel, who has been playing the fiddle and banjo since he was five, qualified along with another young lad to represent Ulster at the Fleadh in Dromore a fortnight ago.

But he will be up against opposition from overseas this weekend.

Two representatives from each of the nine counties will be playing their hearts out for glory on Saturday.

“He’s done well to get this far,” said dad Keith. “In the All-Ireland competition there will be players from Munster, Leinster, Connaught, England and America.”

Keith is a keen fiddle and banjo player himself, and some of this has obviously rubbed off on his family, all of whom play musical instruments.

“They have all been playing the fiddle or banjo for years, and traditional music is a big part of their lives,” added Keith.

Joel has also been helped by the patience and dedication of fiddle teacher Eamon Mitchell and Eugene Moran chairman of Loup CCE.