Tuesday 23 January 2018

My Fleadh: Kian Egan

Kian Egan
Kian Egan

Former Westlife member and Sligo resident Kian Egan is an official ambassador for this year's Fleadh Cheoil.

As an ambassador, will you be enjoying the Fleadh differently this year compared to last year?

I think one thing I didn't do last year was that I didn't take my little boy along with me as much.

Last year was kind of more of an adult thing where me and my wife would go out and take in the music ourselves but I think this year I am going to bring my boy along more to do some daytime things.

He is three-and-a-half now so he is becoming really aware of music.

My wife and I say that he is going to be a drummer because he is always banging on the drum kit in the house, so I definitely think if he sees a bodhrán he is going to be asking what it is and if he can get one.

You mention the family aspect of the Fleadh there, what would you say to families thinking about coming to Sligo for the festival?

I really think Sligo has so much to offer in its beautiful coastline, its mountain ranges with the likes of Ben Bulben and Knocknarea and our lovely walks.

I think people who come here don't realise how beautiful the county actually is.

I would definitely say to people to enjoy the music and what the Fleadh has to offer, but also to get out of the town and explore our coastline for a day as they will definitely be surprised by how beautiful it actually is.

As a musician, do you appreciate the meaning of the Fleadh a bit more in terms of the talent on show throughout the week?

I think that if I've been away from Ireland for a little while, I'm still always surprised by the actual talent we have.

If you go into any of the pubs, the level of the music is very high.

I think people could actually be taken back by the talent in Ireland and I feel like the Fleadh is just an explosion of that.

As a proud Sligo man, what gave you the most pride during last year's Fleadh Cheoil?

What amazed me more than anything else was well how the town looked.

I think Sligo has been a real victim of the Celtic Tiger, between shop closures and such.

It was amazing to see people come together and board up those old shops and then decorate them in gorgeous artwork of the likes of W.B. Yeats.

It's things like that that had me the most proud. The young people that have started to get involved is also amazing.

Do you think the Fleadh will leave a legacy in Sligo?

Oh yeah, for sure.

I still remember the last time the Fleadh was here in in the early '90s.

I think one thing that is for sure is that it won't take as long for it to return as it has previously.

People can see how well Sligo hosted the Fleadh last year and I think that it will be even better this year, so I definitely don't think we will be waiting as long this time around.

Irish Independent

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