Friday 27 April 2018

Fans of Fleadh to make 2015 a record breaker

Caitriona Lagan plays banjo on O’Connell Street at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Sligo
Caitriona Lagan plays banjo on O’Connell Street at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Sligo

Greg Harkin

Ireland's biggest music festival continues to get better and better with this year's event set to be a record-breaker, says the man ultimately responsible for it.

Labhras Ó Murchú, director general of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, says the Fleadh just keeps getting better.

"We have been going since 1951 and I have to say that over the past decade it has just got better and better," he said.

"There are a lot of reasons for that but one of them is the fact that it is here in Sligo this year for the second year running and they want to improve it and then Ennis which gets to host it next year will want to expand it again so the level is constantly on the up."

More than 350,000 people attended last year's Fleadh but that figure is set to be smashed this time around with the number of people in Sligo this year at least 20pc higher.

All the streets around Sligo were packed with spectators and trad musicians again yesterday

Micheál Ó Domhnaill from the organising committee said this was probably the most internationally-flavoured Fleadh ever.

"We have been taken aback by the sheer numbers. Last year's Fleadh in Sligo was brilliant but we now think this year's is going to be even better," he said.

More than 10,000 people are attending various music classes at venues across Sligo.

"All we can see at the moment across the town are 'sold out' signs," said Mr Ó Murchú.

"A lot of groups are now doing second gigs at the same venues to accommodate demand."

The highlight this evening will be at the Knocknarena Arena where a host of top musicians will lead a musical tribute to legendary Sligo fiddler James Morrison who emigrated to America in 1915 and took his unique with him.

Irish Independent

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