Ballinrobe gears up for Mayo Fleadh

The fleadh cheoil season is upon us again and it is time to take to the road. This year’s Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo will take place in Ballinrobe on the weekend of Saturday May 7 and Sunday May 8, full details of the event were announced in Ballinrobe recently. The launch was performed by the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Holmes, emphasising the growing links between Mayo Comhaltas and Mayo County Council.

It is almost 30 years since Ballinrobe last hosted Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo in 1987 and it left an indelible mark on the south Mayo town. The Mayo Fleadh Cheoil has grown enormously over these years and it is now a week long event. It has taken on added significance these past few years and is now a major cultural event on the county calendar. Such cultural events have an ever increasing role to play in the cultural, social and economic life of the county. The fleadh organising committee have made a conscious effort this year to honour the spirit and ideals of the The Easter Rising.

While the fleadh will take place over the weekend of May 7 and 8, the dancing will take place on the previous Monday, May 2. In between will be a week long series of cultural events. An extremely hard working local committee, under the watchful eye of local Cathaoirleach, Kevin Feeney, has put in long hours these past few months to ensure that Fleadh Mhaigh Eo 2016 will be successful and that there will be something for everybody.

On Friday, Oscailt Oifigiúl na Fleidhe will take place in the Valkenberg Hotel at 7.30pm, with Éamon Ó Cuiv TD doing the honours, once again emphasising the connection with the 1916 Rising. This will be followed by a presentation on traditional music by David Lennon and Jackie Small of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. The day will close with a session by local musicians and friends.

As is usual with Fleadh Mhaigh Eo Saturday is an action packed day from early morning to the late hours. Fleadh competitions take place throughout the day. Under 12 and 12 to 15-year-old singing, music, and comhrá Gaeilge competitions take place in the community school and St Joseph’s NS next door.

Aifreann na Fleidhe will be celebrated in the local church on Saturday at 7.30pm with The Ballinrobe Folk Choir and traditional musicians. There will be sessions in the local hostelries that night. Also there will be music on the Gig Rig at 9pm. The day finishes with the fleadh ceilí in Hollymount Hall with Matt Cunningham providing the music.

Sunday May 12 will be another day jam packed with activities. Competitions resume in the schools at 11am. Comórtaisí in the u18 and senior sections are the main feature on the Sunday. The day will finish up with the best of trad sessions in the local hostelries. For more information contact; Kevin Feeney (087 ) 2138871, Tom Mannion (087 ) 9091532, or Máirtín G. Ó Maicín (087 ) 6795297.

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