More Milltown magic

Milltown hosts Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí for second year running

Tadhg Evans

Dozens upon dozens of competitions, hundreds of competitors and a fine turnout over the five days of Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí.

Its opening on Wednesday night featuring MC Owen O'Shea; speakers Cathaoirleach Niall Kelleher, Stuart Stevens of the local Chamber Alliance, John Long of major sponsors Chapter 23 Credit Union, and John Canty and County Comhaltas Chairperson John Canty; as well as a performance by the local Comhaltas set dancers, set four days of competitive action and live entertainment in motion - and what a line-up of entertainment it was.. It included the Annual Singing Club on Thursday night at Larkins, which drew attendees and talented performers from throughout the county; an Outdoor Céilí at the Square's Gig Rig by four-time All-Ireland-winners Shandrum Céilí Band; a street performance by the renowned Kíla; and a wide array of children's entertainment throughout the weekend.

A Street Entertainment Competition in memory of the recently deceased Denis Courtney - a former CCÉ County Chairman from the Milltown/Listry Branch, instrumental in bringing the Fleadh to Milltown in 2018 and 2019 - and an outdoor Céilí with 'Uí Bhriain' had to be moved indoors to the Muintir na Tíre Hall owing to the weather, but this took nothing from the occasion. The bases for the competitions from Thursday to Sunday were the Nagle Rice Community Centre and Presentation Secondary School, and Milltown/Listry CCÉ PRO said these facilities were "the secrets of our success".

"These are new facilities and crucial to the whole thing, and the standard and number of competitors keeps rising" he told The Kerryman.

“This is our second year hosting the Fleadh, and it was tremendously received. We spent around €50,000, with €12,000 on the free entertainment.

"I actually felt the street entertainment competition was nearly more of an event in the Muintir na Tíre, and I'm sure Denis would have been very proud to see so many young people performing together.  "We had a huge number of volunteers, about 100, who worked free over the weekend to make this success, and I'd also like to thank the Credit Union, County Council, local sponsors, and the secondary school's board of management for their support."