In 2002 Comhaltas launched “Meitheal”. This is a unique and imaginative programme aimed at individuals and groups across the country and in Irish communities abroad, which encourages and supports personal and community based actions for the development and enjoyment of the traditional arts. The core concept of Meitheal is that it reaches beyond the Comhaltas movement to link the community, Comhaltas and the living tradition in a mutually enriching way. The interests, talents and energies of a wide array of individuals and groups will be engaged through new connections, partnership and local co- operation, to work together for the benefit of all. Comhaltas will promote strongly the Meitheal initiative in Ireland and abroad during the period of the Programme.
Flexibility, partnership, informality, mutual support, and networking are cornerstones of the Meitheal process. Under Meitheal, individuals and groups can participate in projects of particular interest to themselves on a flexible basis without having to work through a particular institutional structure. A very wide range of projects can be promoted, from linking older players in informal musical settings to Internet projects utilising cutting edge technology. The initiative enables links to be formed more easily with business interests and groups.
Meitheal is already bearing fruit. Individual projects underway include a traditional music programme on the Internet, the establishment of a new residential summer school in music and the compilation of directories of present and past local artists by school children.