Moves are afoot to secure the biggest trad music festival of them all, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, for Tullamore in 2020-2021. In the process of putting a committee together, Mary Berry, secretary of Offaly Fleadh Cheoil, says fundraising will commence shortly.
The standard Fleadh Cheoil application bid costs in the region €90,000, but to host the week-long event itself which typically takes place during the month of August, its estimated that the committee will need upwards of €900,000 - €1 million.
“Tullamore is the perfect Fleadh town, with its wide streets and its a circular town, so its in easy access of any competitions going on around it,” Mary Berry told the Offaly Indpendent this week.
“Economically and culturally it is a huge tourist attraction. Failte Ireland monitor the Fleadh Cheoil every year and they can indentify the upsurge in tourism for the month of August and you can clearly see the growth in tourism to an area. Culturally it’s an outstanding event for a town to get.
“It would be great to have the Fleadh back in Tullamore. It is a highly sought after event, so we are very hopeful this time,” she stated.
“It’s early days yet and we’re just on the point of putting a committee together. The application needs to be ready for September but it will take five months to get everything right.”
Mary Berry says the group are in the process of revamping their application, this year focusing on their marketing strategey to make the most of the tourism and cultural aspects of the Fleadh.
Offaly Fleadh Cheoil narrowly lost out on it’s bid to host the event this year but claim they are hopeful of success for its current bid.
“We’re in the very early stages and it will be over the next two months that a lot of hard work will go in. It’s so much bigger now than when we first applied for it in 2006. Tullamore hosted Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
“Of course we’re in a very different climate now than when we were applying in 2006, which was the brink of recession. We’re now on an upsurge and the potential is huge,” she said.