Mayo businesses are being asked to pledge their support as part of a concerted effort being undertaken by the local Comhaltas in Ballina to bring the All-Ireland Fleadh to the town in 2018.
Ennis staged the fleadh last August and will host the event again in 2017.
The All-Ireland Fleadh attracts 300,000 visitors over its 10 day duration and generates in the region of €40 million to the local economy. More than 10,000 musicians from all over the world take part in the fleadh sessions, while 6,000 take part in 180 competitions in search of All-Ireland glory.
Local Comhaltas members have already had two meetings with Mayo County Council to discuss the mammoth event and to seek financial support from Mayo County Council.
The cost of staging the fleadh is now €900,000, and fleadh campaigner Eamonn Walsh is appealing to Mayo business people worldwide to get behind the venture with offers of sponsorship.
Is is understood that two domes, each with a capacity for 2,000 people, would be required for the many concerts, ceilidhs, and competitions held during the event. These two domes costs in the region of €95,000, while the fleadh event licence costs €150,000. Applications for the 2018 fleadh must be lodged with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann HQ by December 31 of this year with a guarantee of €90,000.
A crucial meeting will take place on Monday November 21 of the local Comhaltas, Mayo County Council, and Mayo North Promotions Office to discuss the feasibility of the fleadh for Ballina.
The fleadh was last staged in Ballina in 1997 and 1998 and was described by the director general of Comhaltas Labhras O’Murchu as one of the most memorable fleadhanna of all time.
The fleadh has trebled in size since the last fleadhanna were held in Ballina.
Eamonn Walsh said that corporate sponsorship is vital in order to process the application. He outlined the enormous advantages of hosting the fleadh to the region, with Knock Airport benefiting from thousands of additional overseas visitors, and an estimated 30,000 bed nights required within a 30 mile radius of the town.
Mr Walsh said that any application is a joint partnership involving the local authority, Chamber of Commerce, and vintners. It is understood Galway is to seek the 2020 All-Ireland Fleadh as part of its 2020 European City of Culture programme.
Eamonn Walsh is appealing to Mayo business people around the world to back the Ballina application.
Further information and pledges of sponsorship can be made by contacting Eamonn Walsh on 087 2775317 or email [email protected].