Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann officially launched its programme of music events on Saturday. The festival runs from August 6 to August 14 in Mullingar.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann launched as countdown begins

This year Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is set to welcome over 500,000 visitors to another homecoming in Mullingar in Co. Westmeath from August 6 to August 14.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann officially launched its world-acclaimed programme of traditional music, song dance and Irish language events on Saturday. This year’s Fleadh Cheoil takes place from August 6-14 in Mullingar where Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was founded in 1951.

Following the immense success of last year’s Comhaltas organised event, visitor numbers of over half a million are expected to return for yet another ‘Homecoming’, while thousands of followers will tune in online from many countries around the world including North America and UK, to Australia, Japan, Finland and many more. This year, the Fleadh will also be streamed live to Comhaltas branches and the Irish diaspora, allowing people to experience the joy of Irish culture no matter where they are in the world.

This celebrated Irish cultural event is organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and will be hosted in Mullingar by the local Fleadh Executive Committee in association with various sponsors.

Cathaoirleach of the Fleadh Executive Committee, Joe Connaire, said: “It was a dream come true to host this fantastic event last year - it was so important to us that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann returned to its hometown. The Homecoming was a resounding success thanks to our local Comhaltas FEC committee, artists, sponsors, performers, competitors, our amazing volunteers, local businesses, various local volunteer groups and the wider community, both in Ireland and worldwide”.

He continued, by saying: “This year, we are committed to building on this success – delivering a world-class event and an unforgettable visitor experience. We look forward to welcoming everyone back home again – wherever they are in the world”.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is kindly supported by Fáilte Ireland and Hidden Heartlands who promote an infinite variety of things to do for all ages in the Heart of Ireland. With Mullingar being at the centre of this unique location, organisers of the Fleadh are encouraging guests to take in some of the sites while in Westmeath for the celebrations.

Some programme highlights include:

Martin Hayes, Dervish, Drops of Green, Emmet Cahill, Enda Scahill, Four Men and a Dog, Fuamlaoi, Kilfenora Céilí Band, Moylurg Ceili Band, Seán Keane, Glenside Céilí Band, Rise the Dust, SEOID and Shaskeen – with many more to be announced.

However, the most important events are the 150 competitions where people from all over the world compete through music, song, dance and Comhrá Gaeilge. For more information about the concerts or to buy tickets visit fleadhcheoil.ie/events. The event will feature a ‘Gig Rig’ in the town with scheduled performances, lots of casual street sessions and cultural events in various venues throughout Mullingar including Scoil Éigse, a summer school that provides intense tuition, concerts and sessions during the week of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

The Fleadh Executive Committee is calling on locals from both Mullingar and the wider county to get involved. With thousands of people coming together, there is a great need for volunteers who can help out over the week of the Fleadh. There are various opportunities to lend a hand depending on the time people have to offer.

Additionally, there is a huge need for accommodation for visitors and musicians. This could be a room in a house or a holiday home that is vacant. Those interested in offering a property, a room, or rooms to visitors can register their accommodation on the fleadhcheoil.ie website. Equally, volunteers can get in touch via the website and by phone at 044 93 38954.

Speaking about the event, Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland said: “Fáilte Ireland is delighted to support the Fleadh’s return to Mullingar this year. The success of last year was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the depth of culture and creativity in Mullingar and Westmeath; to people all over the world. Festivals like Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann are a vital component of Ireland’s tourism infrastructure, supporting local businesses, offering a unique experience for visitors and supporting the local economy. This festival is one of the highlights of the cultural calendar in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

To find out more about Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2023 visit the website fleadhcheoil.ie.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is kindly supported by Fáilte Ireland and Hidden Heartlands. RTÉ and TG4 will once again act as broadcast and streaming partners respectively, with TikTok joining this year as social media partner.

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