Clare County Council has warmly welcomed the announcement by the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann of its decision to name Ennis as the host venue for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2016.
Having narrowly missed out on winning the right to host the prestigious annual event in the past four years, Ennis has been named ahead of Sligo and Drogheda as the host venue for the event at a ceremony in Dublin today (Saturday, 7 March 2015).
It is anticipated that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will attract an estimated 300,000 visitors to the Clare County Capital next year.
“The Working Group established to bring the event to Clare has been working tirelessly over the past number of years and put together a very strong argument as to why Ennis, arguably one of the best known traditional Irish music centres in the world, would be a worthy host location. Everybody concerned is thrilled by this decision,” commented Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council.
The Cathaoirleach said potential economic spin-offs for Ennis and County Clare as a result of hosting the event are “considerable, hence the substantial time and effort that has been invested by many organisations and individuals across Clare to bring the event here.
“I feel this decision is a tribute to the unrivalled contribution of traditional Irish music artists and groups throughout Clare over the years to preserving and promoting a unique part of Irish culture and heritage,” added the Mayor.
“Ennis has not hosted the event since 1977 and I firmly believe that the awarding of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to the town is thoroughly deserved, especially considering the fact that the town has and continues to host a range of culture and arts festivals that are of national and international renown, including the Fleadh Nua and the annual Ennis Trad Festival,” stated Mayor of Ennis, Cllr. Johnny Flynn.
Clare County Council Chief Executive, Tom Coughlan said the Council, which was centrally involved in the submission process, “shared the delight felt by all members of the Working Group and the people of County Clare.”
“I want to acknowledge the members of the Working Group for their efforts and commitment to securing this event for Ennis. Clare is the home of Traditional Irish Music and Ennis is a thoroughly deserving host location for an event of this scale and prestige. Clare Local Authorities looks forward to working with all local interests and agencies to deliver a successful and memorable Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2016.”
“I believe the hosting of this event is of major significance and will further enhance the future economic, tourism and cultural development and international profile of the town and County,” said Mr. Coughlan.
Mr. McDonagh was one a number of people who made a presentation to the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann ahead of the organisation’s vote on the host location this weekend.
“I am privileged to have been requested by the local Fleadh Working Group to help secure this prestigious event for Ennis and County Clare. There are few occasions I can remember when so much goodwill has been invested by so many in one single project here in Clare, but it is clear that the dividends for the entire County in hosting the Fleadh are significant,” said Mr. McDonagh.
“As Chair of Clare GAA, I look forward to playing a key role in helping to deliver a hugely successful event for Ennis so as to ensure it is selected as the host location for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann beyond 2016,” added Mr. McDonagh, , who is also contesting the upcoming general election.
Clare Senator Tony Mulcahy says the naming of Ennis as the host venue for the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the result of an “unprecedented countywide effort” by Clare’s cultural organisations to secure the prestigious event.
Senator Mulcahy said the decision of the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to select Ennis as the host location is “thoroughly deserved but long overdue.”
“It has been almost four decades since Clare hosted this event which is a shame considering the County is very much the spiritual home of Irish traditional music and song. The perseverance of the local Fleadh Working Group and cultural organisations throughout the County has been instrumental in delivering this huge announcement,” said Senator Mulcahy.
“Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will bring up to 350,000 people to Ennis, more than 10,0000 of whom will be musicians. The economic and cultural benefits are significant not only for Clare but the entire Mid West with the event expected to generate €40 million for the Region. The Fleadh also provides a platform for the people of Clare to show the rest of Ireland and the world of their capacity to host large scale cultural events, while at the same time demonstrate the scale of cultural activity ongoing in the county,” added Senator Mulcahy.
Deputy Joe Carey said: “This is a significant economic shot in the arm for Ennis and the surrounding areas and it builds on the considerable success of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Loop Head Peninsula and the re-emergence of Shannon Airport, to firmly establish tourism as one of the most important economic drivers in County Clare.”
“We love our traditional music and I have no doubt that this event in 2016 will be celebrated in true Clare fashion, with a warm welcome, an open heart and the odd late night.
“Huge credit is due to the local Working Group for their considerable efforts over many years to secure this prestigious event once more. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensuring a successful and memorable Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2016,” he added.
Conway expresses delight that Ennis has been chosen to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016
Clare Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway commented: “2016 is a special year in the history of our nation and to have been chosen to host the national Fleadh on the centenary of the Easter Rising is even more special. The Fleadh will form a very important part of our national commemoration in 2016.
“Clare has a long and distinguished traditional Irish music heritage. It is the homestead of the world famous Kilfenora and Tulla Céilí bands as well as many world famous Irish musicians including Martin Hayes and Sharon Shannon. The thousands of visitors and participants in Fleadh 2016 will feel particularly at home,” added Senator Conway.