Leinster Fleadh launches in Athboy tonight - competitions start on Friday

Story by John Donohoe

Monday, 8th July, 2019 5:46pm

Leinster Fleadh launches in Athboy tonight - competitions start on Friday

Members of Comhaltas Tlachtga, hosts of the Leinster Fleadh in Athboy.

As Comhaltas Tlachtga prepare to host the 2019 Leinster Fleadh, preparations are well underway in Athboy and Ráth Chairn for what promises to be an exciting week of events, workshops, competitions, concerts and much more.  The competitions element of the Leinster Fleadh will see participants from throughout the county travel to compete to go through to the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil later in the summer, in Drogheda, while the events organised locally will have something for everyone.
While the competitions element doesn’t start until Friday 12th July there will be a very busy and active programme of events taking place from when the Fleadh is launched on Monday 8th at 7.30pm in The Darnley Lodge Hotel. Local and visiting musicians will share their talents in nightly sessions in local pubs and also in a series of ‘Maidin Café sessions in Ráth Chairn and Sabrosa in Athboy.  Other daytime activities include historical tours of the area, children’s summer camp and a pop up Gaeltacht.
One of the exciting elements and new to the Fleadh will be a series of Inclusive Workshops in Athboy Convent Community Centre, facilitated by Tommy Hayes of Stockton’s Wing fame. These will be held daily from Monday to Friday and will finish each afternoon with an Inclusive Ceilí for all to enjoy. 
A chance to brush up on your bodhrán skills will be available as Tommy Hayes hosts a Bodhrán Masterclass in St James Hall on Thursday and Saturday at  6.30pm.  Lectures on ‘Meath Song Tradition” and “History & Heritage of Uilleann Piping in Meath’’, from Roisín ni Galloghlaigh and Éanna Ó Cróinín respectively, will be a highlight for many.
A series of Free Open Air Concerts in Athboy’s beautifully developed Fairgreen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see top Irish bands including Dervish, John Spillane and teh Raw Bar Collective  perform, while sessions will continue both on the street and in local venues.
Comhaltas competitions get underway on Friday with the Dance competitions out in Ráth Chairn, while instrumental, singing and comhrá Gaeilge competitions take place in various venues around Athboy on Saturday and Sunday.  A full timetable and venue listing is available online at www.leinsterfleadh.ie
Local groups have made it possible to have camping facilities available while families are opening up their homes to ensure there is enough accommodation for visitors.   Volunteers are working hard to have a well structured traffic plan in place while others will make sure that information is flowing and everyone knows where they are going. A group of volunteers will also ensure that the area is kept clean and tidy, to its usual high standards.
Inclusiveness has been adopted as the theme for this years Leinster Fleadh and organisers have gone out of their way to make sure that they have covered all bases in their quest to include everyone. They understand the importance of preserving and promoting Irish traditional music, song, dance and the Irish language and Fleadh Laighean 2019 will certainly aim to achieve this.

A full event guide is available on the official website and on facebook. Fleadh Programmes will be available from tonight and a Fleadh Info Office will be open for the week.    

Website   www.leinsterfleadh.ie    Queries to leinsterfleadh2019@gmail.com

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