Thousands of people from across Ulster and Louth descended on Dundalk last weekend to take part in the first stage of the Ulster Dance Championships.
Over 1,200 Irish dancers took part in the event with family members and friends travelling to Dundalk to cheer them on.
The Fairways Hotel is the host venue for both stages, the second of which will take
place over five days at the end of November.
A ceremony was held on Friday evening at the Market Square to welcome the Ulster Dance Commission back to Dundalk after a gap of 25 years.
Musicians from the Oriel Centre Comhaltas entertained the crowds before local dancers took part in a ceili flashmob performance that filled the Square.
“We wanted to celebrate the return of the Oireachtas Rince Uladh to Dundalk with a welcome ceremony,” said Tourist Officer Sinead Roche, “and to thank our sponsors and everyone who was involved in securing Dundalk as host town for the 2014 Championships.
“The Ulster Dance Championships are estimated to bring over €1.5 million into County Louth over the two events and we encourage everyone to embrace the opportunity in whatever way they feel they can add value to the event, while benefitting their business.
Cathaoirleach Oliver Tully presented Eamonn De Bhal, President of An Coimisiún Le Rincí
Gaelacha, with a sponsorship cheque on behalf of Louth County Council.
“We are delighted that the council supported our bid to host the competition,” and after such a
successful first event last weekend we are confident that county Louth will once again retain
its position alongside existing host countries.
“Also the sponsorship we have received locally from the Marshes Shopping Centre has helped us to showcase Dundalk as an ideal location,” said Eamonn De Bhal and I would like to say a special word of thanks to the management and staff at the Fairways Hotel who did an amazing job.”