Irish music and culture extravaganza Fleadh Cheoil returns after a two-year break

President Michael D. Higgins will open Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the Irish culture event that will bring music around every corner, dance and celebration to Mullingar next week, from 31 July to 7 August 2022.

The Fleadh Cheoil – the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance – returns to Mullingar after a two-year absence with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. It is one of Europe’s foremost cultural festivals, attracting close to 500,000 visitors to the host town every year.

Minister Catherine Martin welcomed the return of the Irish festival after a break due to the pandemic. Speaking about Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which is run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the TD stated: “This is a hugely important cultural event for our nation, but it is also a great boost for local tourism, and would not be possible without the many volunteers and supporters in Comhaltas and the wider host community.

“I am pleased to see the re-emergence at regional and community level of such a wealth of talent after a long and challenging period of caution and restraint. We can look forward to attending the events and social gatherings that have defined the Annual Fleadh for many of us over the years.”

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) has received €2 million in funding from the Department in 2022, which has been organizing the festival since it was first held in Mullingar in 1951. €100,000 will go towards the organizational costs of this year’s Fleadh, which is titled The Homecoming because of the large Comhaltas history of the county town of Westmeath. It will return to Mullingar from 31 July to 7 August 2022.

The organizers have announced that this year’s festival, which will be opened by President Michael D. Higgins on Sunday, will also focus some attention on street entertainment with impromptu, unpaid and unamplified traditional Irish music sessions taking place throughout the town.

Catherine Martin TD thanked those contributing to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann: “I wish to specifically acknowledge this year the commitment and substantial support of Westmeath County Council and the Westmeath County Board of Comhaltas, who in conjunction with its seven branches in Mullingar, Ballynacargy, Castletown -Geoghegan, Rathconrath, Moate, and Castlepollard brought forward the bid to bring the Fleadh to the founding town of Comhaltas.

Their efforts and dedication have paid off, and I hope that they will be rewarded by public support and attendance across the Fleadh program.”

The last Fleadh Cheoil was held in Drogheda, Co Louth in 2019, with previous festivals taking place in Sligo, Tullamore, Ennis, Cavan, and many other towns around Ireland since 1951.

TG4 will broadcast live from Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th August each night from 9:30pm until 11pm. The series will also be available to view live worldwide on the TG4 Player.

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