Avoca gears up to host Wicklow County Fleadh Cheoil for the first time

The 2023 Wicklow County Fleadh will take place in Avoca National School on Saturday, May 27.

Eoin Mac RaghnaillWicklow People

The Avoca Wicklow Miners CCÉ are all set to host the prestigious Wicklow County Fleadh Cheoil for the first time this Saturday, May 27.

The historic festival will see hundreds of the best musicians, singers and dancers from around the Garden County descend on the picturesque town to compete for a place at the Leinster Fleadh, which will be held in Dublin in July.

With more than 500 Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) members in Wicklow and over 350 of those under the age of 17, the hugely popular trad festival promises to inspire a new generation of musicians in Avoca and beyond.

Speaking ahead of the Fleadh, Wicklow Miners CCÉ Chairman Mike Nesbitt said: “This year we are delighted and privileged to have the Wicklow County Fleadh in Avoca, hosted by Wicklow Miners CCE.

“This branch runs weekly classes, and workshops, to provide beginner to advanced level tuition in a variety of musical instruments, and maintains activities through voluntary work, and work provided by our music teachers. The branch also participates in a variety of events such as ‘Scoil Eigse’, ‘Culture Night’, and a variety of other musical events, as well as supporting local organisations.

“The branch continuously focuses on SCT (Scruìdu Ceol Tiìre) programme which provides structure and helps our students learn about music theory, improve their musical ear, and research the history of musical pieces, styles and players.

“Wicklow CCE County Board work to ensure local branch assistance and support of important Meitheal an Oirthir projects and initiatives. Local branches have been extremely supportive throughout the year as well as keeping their branches going by any means possible.

“It has, and continues to be, very challenging for our county branches to maintain their CCE activities, and so all our local branches must be supported through regular membership, and volunteering for committee-level support. Please continue to support your local branches in any way you can.

“A huge amount of work is involved in Fleadh Cheoil. A special word of thanks to Tracey Maguire (County Board Secretary) for helping to organise and coordinate, this and every year, all the many elements needed. Thanks also to Lar Harper, James Lambert, Grace Harper, and Noel Carney for their hard work and continued support in all aspects of the Fleadh and Fleadh Launch preparations.

“Thanks to all the committee and members of Wicklow Miners CCE, Fleadh adjudicators, and volunteers for their support. Our appreciation and gratitude to principal Mrs Louise Power, the Board of Management, and staff of Scoil Náisiúnta Phaìdraig Naofa (Avoca), and to the committee of the Avoca Community Hall for providing and preparing the Fleadh competition venues.

“Sincere thanks to Wicklow County Council, The Wicklow People, An Garda Síochána, and local businesses and organisations who support the Wicklow County Fleadh directly or indirectly.

“Our appreciation also to all Wicklow CCE branch committees, tutors, members, and the Wicklow County Board committee who support CCE branch and Fleadh activities that continue to keep our music song and dance traditions alive in the community.

“We wish all our competitors every success in their competitions and hope you all enjoy Wicklow County Fleadh Cheoil this year in Avoca.”