It was an exciting and successful week of competitions, concerts, céilithe, sessions and more at the 2019 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Over 500,000 people thronged the streets of Drogheda, while tens of thousands of people attended the special opening by President Michael D Higgins. The town pulsed with Irish rhythm and revelry as age-old traditions were celebrated by new generations and the vibrancy of the Fleadh emanated throughout the streets.
This is the second year in succession that Drogheda hosted the All-Ireland Fleadh. In 2020 it will be moving to Mullingar. Every year, the Fleadh provides a cultural meeting place for those who carry the great traditions of Irish music, song and dance in their hearts.
Lolo Robinson, Chairperson of the Fleadh Executive Committee said, “What a wonderful week we have had at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann here in Drogheda. It has been such a pleasure to host the Fleadh for the last two years. Memories have been made that will last a lifetime and the legacy of the Fleadh is the increased interest in traditional Irish music, song and dance that will last for generations to come.
She continued, “We would like to wish the organisors of the 2020 Fleadh in Mullingar every success and look forward to joining them for the 70th Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann”
Dr Labhrás Ó’Murchú, Ardstiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann said, “‘When Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann commenced in 1951 it was obviously a very small event. In the intervening years the Fleadh has grown to be a Festival of world proportions. It emphasises how our childhood traditions have proposed in the intervening years, and today played a significant role in tourism with over 25% of the 500,0000 attending, coming from out of state.’”
At the core of the Fleadh are the competitions that see traditional musicians, dancers, singers and story tellers of all ages and backgrounds competing at All-Ireland level, following victories at regional competitions.
This year over 7,000 competitors played, sang or danced for All-Ireland titles in 180 competitions. The standards were high and the music more than lived up to the expectations of judges who had a very difficult job choosing winners for each category and competition.
Scoil Éigse, the official summer school organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, ran throughout the week with almost 900 Irish and international students of all ages taking part in various music, singing, dancing and Irish language classes.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will in take place in Mullingar in 2020.
Wicklow/ Cill Mhantáin Winners
2A Bosca Ceoil / Button Accordion (Faoi 12) 2nd James Lambert, CCÉ, Wicklow Miners, CillMhantáin
4A Feadóg / Whistle (Faoi 12) 1st James Lambert, CCÉ, Wicklow Miners, CillMhantáin
16C Bodhrán (15-18) 1st Matthew Hurrell O’Connor, CCÉ, Bray, CillMhantáin
21B FoinnMhalla, Feadóg / Whistle Slow Airs (12-15) 2nd Betty Ní Shé, CCÉ, Bhré, CillMhantáin
49K Comhrá Gaeilge (15-18) 2nd Elena Ó’Céidigh-Hayes, CCÉ, Bhré, CillMhantáin
51C Scéalaíocht (15-18) 2nd Éabha Ó Céidigh Hayes, CCÉ, Bhré, CillMhantáin
For all the results and further details on the Fleadh and competitions, visit www.fleadhcheoil.ie.