Wednesday 23 January 2019

Craic agus ceol aplenty as Fleadh hits Macroom

Bill Browne

The town of Macroom came alive to the sound of great music and craic last weekend as the town played host to the largest Fleadh Cheoil in the country.

More than 1,200 traditional musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers of all ages gathered in the town to compete over the weekend, providing a wonderful spectacle for visitors to the town. 

Fleadh hosts Aghinagh Comhaltas, who were staging the event for the fourth time, had been busy over the months and weeks leading up to the spectacular extravaganza putting together an exciting programme of events with the aim of ensuring the 2018 Fleadh was a colourful and memorable celebration of our unique Irish culture and heritage. 

So it turned out to be, with céilí dancing and music sessions taking place at venues throughout the town as well as an exciting mix of street entertainment. 

The event was not just confined to the weekend, with various events taking place over the days leading up to the weekend. These included a tribute to former Comhaltas member and renowned musician Tadhg Kearney in the Auld Triangle, an Oíche Amhránaíochta in the Riverside Park Hotel, and Sean Nós Dancing Competitions at  the GAA Hall in the Castle Grounds.

The official opening of the county Fleadh took place at the Castle Hotel on Friday night with a music session and a celebration of 40-years of Aghinagh Comhaltas.  On Saturday it was down to the serious business of competition with individuals, grúpaí cheoil, ceílí bands and dancers going head-to-head, with competitors seeking qualification for Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan and possibly Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda later on this year. 

Bishop McEgan College and De La Salle College hosted U-12 and U-15 competitions throughout the day, which concluded with a Oíche Amhránaoíchta with the nationally renowned Máire Ní Chéilleachair in the Castle Hotel's Next Door Cafe and a Fleadh Céilí in Crookstown Hall.  

Sunday commenced with an Aifreann as Gaeilge in Macroom Parish Church, with competitions at 18-18 year-old and senior level taking place in both colleges and the céilí band competition at the Sports Hall the Castle Demesne. 

Once again Aghinagh Comhaltas proved themselves capable of hosting such a massive event and great credit must go to all involved in helping to organise the hugely successful Fleadh.  All of the competition results can be viewed at