Thousands to descend on County Limerick for foot-stomping Fleadh Cheoil

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

A seisiún in full swing in O’Shaughnessy’s Bar, Kilfinane during last year’s Fleadh. Expect more of the same foot-stomping fun this weekend Photo: Pat Moloney

A seisiún in full swing in O’Shaughnessy’s Bar, Kilfinane during last year’s Fleadh. Expect more of the same foot-stomping fun this weekend Photo: Pat Moloney

AFTER weeks of planning and hard work the weekend has finally arrived when thousands of people will descend on the village of Kilfinane for a festival of music, song and dance.

Ballyhoura Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) will play host to this year’s Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh over the June Bank Holiday weekend.

“The event really brings the community together. Even last night I drove up through the town and I could see people out washing flower baskets, painting businesses and cleaning windows,” said Ciara Flanagan, chairperson of Ballyhoura Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE).

“There is a new art and craft group formed and they have weaved beautiful flowers and they are in process of doing musical notes on the derelict buildings which is really lovely. There are 1,000 competitors and they will all bring family and friends,” she added.

The competition kicks off this Thursday with the novice dancing at 6:30 in the Church of Ireland. This will be followed by an evening to remember Sarah Gleeson, a much loved and sadly missed member of Ballyhoura CCE. Sarah was secretary of the branch and also PRO for Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh 2017. The evening will feature photos and footage of Sarah’s time with the branch and all are welcome.

Cordeen, with special guest Des Dillon and his amazing puppets, will perform on Friday evening in the Church of Ireland as part of their Irish tour. This is a great opportunity to experience these renowned button accordion players who hail from Ireland and Newfoundland. To book your ticket for this event phone 087 4548501.

There is an early start to Saturday morning with the individual, singing and instrumental competitions which take place in Scoil Pól and Scoil Fhionnán. At 11am Mol an Óige takes place in Teach na Cille. Competitions continue throughout the afternoon. There will be a family fun day at the Church of Ireland from 2pm to 4pm. This will be followed by the dance competitions at 5pm.

The evening entertainment starts after 6:30 Mass on the main street. The well-known Frankie Gavin and friends will play on the ‘gig rig’. The evening finishes with session trails in local public houses.

Sunday commences with more music competitions in the two schools.

The band competitions take place in Scoil Fhionnán. On the main street, busking competitions take place from 2pm to 3:30pm. Later in the evening at 7pm a céilí mór will be held with Donie Nolan. Following the dancing Handipac and friends will go trad on the gig-rig until 9pm. To end the evening off there are session trails again in the local pubs.

The weekend draws to a close on Monday, June, 4.

An art workshop for children will be run in the Church of Ireland at 12pm. Pre-booking is essential.

Further information on any of the above events can be got from Ballyhoura CCE 087 4548501. Check out Ballyhoura CCE also on Facebook for regular updates.