Fleadh Cheoil Chonnacht Launched – Press Release 13th June 2013
Posted on : June 14, 2013
It’s Provincial Fleadh time again and this year Connacht Fleadh goers are heading to Carrick-on-Shannon in lovely Leitrim. It is 51 years since the Connacht Fleadh Cheoil was last held in Carrick-on-Shannon and preparations are at an advanced stage for the staging of the Fleadh on the 6th and 7th July next. The Fleadh will be preceeded by a week long series of events, The Hup Festival, starting on Sunday the 30th June. As can be seen from the Fleadh Souvenir Booklet, launched last week, Leitrim has always been a fertile ground for Traditional Music, Song and Dance and it has produced some of the most famous exponents of the genre. Musicians of the calibre of John McKenna, Packie Duignan and Charlie Lennon to name but a few. The Carrick Fleadh, and the Hup Festival proceeding it, promises something for everyone.
Full details of the Fleadh programme were announced at a Press Reception in Cryan’s Pub in Bridge St, Carrick-on-Shannon on Thursday night last, 13th June. Fleadh Chonnacht 2013 was jointly launched by Edwina Guckian, Leitrim’s own contestant at this Year’s Rose of Tralee and Michael Brennan, Chairman, Connacht Council CCÉ. Over the past few years the Provincial Fleadh has assumed a role of increasing importance in the economic and cultural life of the province. Hosting a provincial Fleadh is now a major event in the calendar of the host town and this is particularly true this year as Carrick-on-Shannon celebrates its 400th birthday.
Carrick-on-Shannon and Comhaltas has grown enormously since the town last hosted Fleadh Chonnacht. A local committee, under the Chairmanship of Enda Stenson, have done trojan work to ensure that this year’s event runs smoothly. No stone has been left unturned to ensure its success.
Activities get under way on Sunday 30th June with the Hup Festival Mass in Cortober @ 12.00 noon. This will be followed by a re-enactment of historical pageant from the first Connacht Fleadh @ 1.30p.m.
The Bush Hotel is the venue for the Spraoi na nÓg Concert on Monday @ 7.00 pm. while the Butcher’s Session will be staged in McLoughlins Bar in Drumsna @ 10.00 pm.
Tuesday, 2nd July, will see an Historical Walk – famine trail- culminating with tunes in St Patrick’s Hospital Gardens. That same afternoon we have a Leitrim “Join” in the Main St in Drumsna. This is a street party of music, song and dance.
Lena’s Tea Room is the venue on Wednesday for a ceol, caint agus Gaeilge session as well as a Harp Recital @ 11.00am. That night @ 7.30 pm sees the red carpet premiere of John McDwyers specially written play, “The Harper’s Wake” .
There are special 4th July celebrations on the Thursday. The day’s events include a farmer’s market, story telling, arts, crafts and food. We have a “Siúlóid agus Seisiúin” at Sheemore while John McKenna will be remembered at a lecture in Cryans by Sean Gilriane @ 7.30 pm. “The Harpers Wake” continues at the Dock.
An attempt will be made at a Brush Dance World Record @ 5.00pm on Friday 5th July. This will be followed by the official opening of Fleadh Cheoil Chonnacht 2013 by Uachtarán an Chomhaltais, Vincent Jordan, @ 7.00pm. Entertainment on the gig rig and a welcoming of of the Clans for the weekend Gathering will follow.
Saturday 6th July is the start of the Fleadh proper. As is usual with Fleadh Chonnacht it is an action packed day from early morning to the late hours with competitions starting @10.00am. The afternoon sees live music on the Gig Rig. Saturday night is also Céilí night and Cortober Hall is the venue with The Swallow’s Tail Céilí Band providing the music. The 1962 Connacht Fleadh is remembered in Concert in The Dock @ 7.30pm. All the major hostelries in the town will feature Trad Sessions.
Fleadh Competitions resume @ 10.00 a.m. on Sunday morning, 7th July. Aifreann na Fleidhe will be celebrated in St Mary’s Church @ 12.00 noon. The afternoon will see Live Entertainment on the Gig Rig and the afternoon will also see youth sessions, street sessions and pub sessions and, once again all the major hostelries in the town will feature Trad Sessions.
Fleadh Chonnacht 2013 and The Hup Festival have something for everybody: sessions throughout the week in various venues, traditional archival displays, lecture, cd launches, street entertainment, sean-nós dancing displays, plays and much more. And not forgetting Carrick-on-Shannon 400th celebrations.
Connacht Comhaltas fraternity can expect a huge welcome in Leitrim. The streets and halls of the town will echoe to the sound of the box and the bodhran, the fiddle and the flute. The beat of the bodhran will welcome friend and foe alike and the sound of music, song and dance will be heard sailing down the Shannon to the rest of Connacht. This is a week not to be missed and you don’t have to be a competitor to come along and enjoy it. Beidh fáilte roimh chách.
Leitrim Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann expect large crowds to come out to the various events. There is something there for everybody and the long week of festivities promises to be unforgetful. Mar sin bígí linn don deireadh seachtaine and bainigí taitneamh is sult as na h-imeachtaí go léir.