Milltown's trad scene burning bright
They say good things come to those who wait and news that Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí is set to return to Milltown after a 10-year absence is music to the ears of everyone in the town.
It runs from June 20 to June 24 and preparations are already underway with the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann eager to get things going, even seeking inspiration from the past by reconnecting with the ancient portal tomb at nearby Killacloghane.
This dolmen, on the outskirts of Milltown, is the oldest surviving man-made structure in Kerry, built around 4,000BC. In fact, the monument is evidence that some of the county's earliest settlers were based in the area and it's little wonder the tomb is providing an inspirational thread for the 2018 Fleadh which has adopted the theme: 'Reconnecting with the Past'.
The Fleadh gives the community a cultural as well as social outlet in which to celebrate the rich heritage of traditional music, song, dance and story. It also features competitions, concerts and street entertainment over the five days and organisers are already advising people to look out for surprises as this will be a Fleadh with a difference. The Milltown-Listry Branch has an impressive pedigree in hosting major musical events and has attracted many of the biggest names in Irish music to festivals in the mid-Kerry town.
"We have brought the likes of The Chieftains, Liam O'Maonlaoí, Donal Lunny, Stockton's Wing, Beoga and the Kilfenora Ceilí Band to Kerry audiences in the past so expect a top-class line up in June," said Fleadh Chairman, Owen O'Shea.
Details of specific events and performers will be revealed over the coming months, while fundraising is already underway with a fun table quiz taking place in Larkin's Bar, Milltown, on December 1. This will be the first of six pub quizzes to take place at local hostelries on the first Friday of each month between now and June. Teams of four will be €40 per table and there is a special discount rate if you want to enter a team for all six nights.
"It promises to be great fun and if you can't get a team together, come on your own and we'll set you up with some friendly locals. We look forward to welcoming everyone to Milltown and to light up the Trad scene in Kerry next summer," Owen added.