History of Perth Comhaltas

Comhaltas Perth Sean Doherty Branch has been the cornerstone for the promotion of Irish culture though music, song, dancing and language in Perth, Australia for over 40 years.
Students from years gone by can still be seen performing at the regular Irish sessions and music events throughout Perth.

It was 1st December 1980 when the first Comhaltas Annual General Meeting took place at the Sterling Hall in Mount Lawley. Among the attendees were the Fr. PJ Kelly, Cecil Cathal (chair), his wife Trish (secretary), Ray Deely and Russle Johnsen.

In 1982, Ormode 'Mór' Waters acted in the role of treasurer with his son Ormonde 'Óg' as training officer.

In 1984 Sean Doherty, then chair, brought Comhaltas to the Irish Club on Townshend Rd in Subiaco. Since then, Sean has been activity teaching Irish traditional music to all ages and levels weekly at Comhaltas sessions.

The Irish language classes are run by Bridie Higgins and Mairtin 0 Dhubhlaigh. 

Current members of Comhaltas who have been part of the club since its inception in Perth include traditional sean-nos singer Tommie Kearns and his wife Kathleen and Rita Fallon. 



Tommie Kearns

Tribute in Loving Memory of

Tommie Kearns

19 Sep 1932 to 30 Oct 2023

Tommie has been a dedicated supporter of the Perth branch for most of its 40 year plus existence along with his wife Kathleen and their six children. Tommie served for many years on the committee and also held the position of Chair for which his influence and connection to Comhaltas in Dublin and local Ballymote branch Craobh Paddy Killoran in his native Sligo was much appreciated. Great benefit and enjoyment was provided in bringing musicians, singers and dancers out to Australia to perform and teach at various Fleadhs and concert series over the years.

Known far and wide for his skill as a leading exponent of the sean nós singing style there was never a session or gathering where Tommie was not called upon for a song. Many of the songs Tommie chose in his repertoire related to Irish Australian emigration and Fenian stories. Although Tommie was not known to pick up an instrument to play he had a great knowledge of traditional tunes and was in fact a great lilter.

Sincere condolences to Kathleen and all of the family at this time. Rest in Peace Tommie, you will be sadly missed by one and all.

Ar dheis dé go maire sé is go gcana sé go síorai.