Kayla Martin of CCÉ, Dhún Dealgan, Louth, 3rd Place All Ireland Winner for the Harp Slow Airs “Toirdhealbhack Ó Cearbhealláin Trofaí” (Under 12 years) - PHOTO: Anna Allen Photography Mullingar
Competitors from Louth were among the winners at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2022 All Ireland competition. It was an exciting and successful week of competitions, concerts, céilithe, sessions and more at the 70th Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Over 500,000 people thronged the streets of Mullingar over the nine days, while tens of thousands of people attended the special opening by President Michael D Higgins. 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.
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 5,000 competitors played, sang or danced for All-Ireland titles in 230 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.
The winners from Louth are as follows:
Joe Connaire, Chairperson of the Fleadh Executive Committee said, “It has been a great privilege to host this fantastic event and showcase Mullingar, Ireland’s Hidden Heartland to a global audience. I would like to thank everyone from the many voluntary groups to the visitors to the people of Mullingar, and I sincerely hope that everybody had a wonderful, safe and happy time in our town and county.”
He continued, “While we had a delay in bringing the Fleadh due to Covid, it was certainly worth the wait! It has been such a pleasure to host the Fleadh this year and we certainly are looking forward to 2023. 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.
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."
Scoil Éigse, the official summer school organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, ran throughout the week with over 500 Irish and international students of all ages taking part in various music, singing, dancing and Irish language classes.
The first ever All-Ireland Fleadh was held in Mullingar in 1951. It was held in the town again in 1963 and in 2022. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will return to Mullingar in 2023.
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