The Fleadh is on the way to town for 2018
Drogheda will be going Fleadh crazy in 2018 after the town - and county - secured the staging of the biggest celebration of Irish music and culture in the world.
The announcement was made at the headquarters of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on Saturday and it will see over 400,000 people descend on the town from August 12-19th 2018, creating a €40m boost to the local economy.
Drogheda's bid to secure the Fleadh began in 2012 and each year they've gotten closer to the dream - until the ultimate announcement finally arrived.
"It's been a five year long campaign to reach this day. We've been supported since day one by Louth County Council and we couldn't have achieved this success without their unequivocal support. Louth County Council and our team of dedicated volunteers from Drogheda Comhaltas and the wider community have campaigned tirelessly to win every crucial vote. We were hopeful, very hopeful, that the vote would go our way this year,' declared Lolo Robinson, Chairperson of Drogheda Comhaltas.
Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin is equally delighted with the announcement.
"This truly is a momentous day for Drogheda and indeed for all of County Louth. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is a mammoth week-long event that will showcase all that the region has to offer to a huge audience. The eyes of the world will be on us. Over 32 hours of television is broadcast from the Fleadh. Countless radio shows and print and online journalists will cover the Fleadh, along with a host of travel and tourism writers. This is an amazing opportunity to showcase the beauty and vibrancy of the town and the region."
But it won't be just Drogheda that will benefit as East Meath, mid Louth and North Louth will be playing a vital role.
"It is estimated that hosting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is worth nearly €40million to the local economy. That's money spent in local shops, cafes, restaurants, transport, pubs and hotels. With over 400,000 visitors, it is also a fabulous way of introducing new people to the region and creating really happy memories. It's true to say that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will be the largest marketing opportunity ever for the town,' Mayor Oliver Tully added.
'It was a huge voluntary effort to make this happen in the first place. And the teamwork right across the local community will continue as we move into the planning stage. We are determined to make Fleadh Drogheda the biggest and best Fleadh yet. We are confident that the people of our brilliant town will help this dream come true,' Lolo added.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 will take place from Sunday 12th August to Sunday 19th August. It will feature workshops for young musicians, competitions, concerts, céili's and lots of fun on the streets of Drogheda throughout the week. For more information follow FleadhDrogheda on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, visit: www.fleadhdrogheda.com.
Lolo concluded "This will be an amazing experience for this region and our people … there's a role for everyone, be part of our team and join in this fantastic adventure. It's going to be amazing!"