Peadar O Goill meets Joe Dolan.

Three nights of Fleadh Cheoil on TG4 this weekend

This coming weekend, TG4 will be ‘Fleadh Cheoil Central’ broadcasting three live shows from Mullingar on 5th, 6th and 7th August, full of the very best of Irish song, music, and dance. After two years in the wilderness, the world’s biggest festival of Irish music is back! Dubbed the ‘Homecoming’, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann returns to Mullingar, back to where it all began in 1951.

Over the past four weeks, presenters Daithí Ó Sé and Doireann Ní Ghlacáin have been travelling the length and breadth of the country, meeting some of the country’s finest musicians, some of whom were hoping to qualify for the All-Ireland competitions, all of whom will be landing Mullingar at some point over the week-long festival.

Daithí and Doireann will be joined by co-presenters Peadar O Goill and Maggie Carty, along with the cream of Irish musical talent from all over Ireland, and beyond, including Martin Hayes, John Francis Flynn, Inni-K, Anúna, Liz Carroll, At The Racket, Kila, 3 On The Bund, and many more.

The festivities will kick off with a new piece of music, 'The Homecoming Suite', composed by Irish American fiddle player, Liz Carroll. The first American-born Irish traditional musician ever nominated for a Grammy, Liz was awarded the TG4 Gradam Ceoil award for composition (2011), is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship award and was inducted into the Irish American Hall Of Fame. And, of course, she won the All-Ireland senior fiddle title in 1975. The premier performance of The Homecoming Suite will be performed by Liz Carroll and the Fleadh Fiddle Orchestra.

Maggie Carthy in Mullingar this week. Photo by Eamon Ward

Following on from the grand opening Fleadh 2022 will showcase a host of music legends alongside new, emerging talent. And we will be keeping viewers up to date with the latest results from the latest results from the competitions.

Full of song, dance, music, and stories, Fleadh 2022 will be rooted in the tradition of the Fleadh and promises to be unmissable entertainment for all the family!

Follow @TG4TV social channels for behind-the-scenes action and music in Mullingar, or join the conversation online using #Fleadh2022

Produced by Power Pictures the three live shows will be broadcast on TG4 from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th August, between 9.30pm–11pm.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, welcomed the return of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), which received an allocation of €2 million in funding from the Department in 2022, has been organising this important cultural event since they held the first one in Mullingar in 1951.

It is now regarded as the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance and one of Europe’s foremost cultural festivals.

Minister Martin approved a specific allocation of €100,000 towards the organisational costs of this year’s Fleadh which is included in the CCÉ’s 2022 overall funding allocation.

Minister Martin said: “I welcome the return of the All-Ireland Fleadh after two years absence from our cultural calendar. 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. I send my thanks and best wishes to those who make this wonderful yearly event such a success.

She added: "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 programme.”