ALMOST 2,000 competitors filled with hope and expectation travelled the road to Cahersiveen over the weekend as CCE Barr na Sraide proved adept hosts of the prestigious county fleadh.
Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí 2014 will live long in the memory thanks to hazy sunshine, top class competitions and toe-tapping gigs to boot. With thousands of supporters joining the competitors it was a bonanza weekend for local businesses too as the summer season officially started.
It all kicked off with a gala concert last Wednesday night in The Ring of Kerry Hotel with Fear an Ti Pádraig O Sé who introduced talented musicians such as Cailín & Micheal O'Shea, Conor Moriarty and Ciara & Sean Ryan. It was standing room only with fantastic music from start to finish and it was a late finish, of course, as a mighty session followed
Meanwhile, on the street there were céilís, concerts and busking competitions as well as traditional music sessions in the local pubs with one of the highlights a singing session at Keatings Corner House with barely room to lift the elbows thanks to an evening of singing, storytelling and recitation led by Sean Garvey.
The gig rig on Main Street was a hub of live music throughout the five days and taking to the stage were Cosomar, The Moorings Céilí and performances from CCE Causeway, CCE Foilmore, CCE Sliabh Luachra and hosts CCE Barr Na Sraide.
"The support we have received from the community, businesses and individuals has been overwhelming and we also want to thank our members and friends of the branch who have been so fantastic since the word go," CCE Barr Na Sraide Chairperson Mary Sheehan said.
CCE Barr na Sráide originated from the Cahersiveen Comhaltas Branch which was formed over 40 years ago and its members deserve a pat in the back following several months of organisation behind the scenes.
"Great credit is due to the hard working committee of Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí who took on this major event and made such a success of it and also made everyone so welcome," Kerry Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann PRO John Stack said.
"To all the stewards, catering, and cleaning personnel and everyone who helped in any way, congratulations on a job well done. Last but not least a special thanks to Coláiste na Sceilge Principal John O'Connor and all the staff who made so welcome in their school while we were there," the PRO added.
A full list of winners can be found on www.kerrycomhaltas.ie and the winners won't have too far to travel either as this year's Munster Fleadh na Mumhan will be held in Killarney from the July 14-20.