Ceol agus craic in Kilfinane for Fleadh

 Thousands expected in picturesque village for traditional music festival

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

Ceol agus craic in Kilfinane for Fleadh

Liam Flanagan, Derek Hickey and Caoimhin O'Fearghail playing at the launch of Kilfinane Hup na Houra last year

THE sounds of fiddles, flutes, bodhráns and banjos will set the tone for a lively five-day seisiún in Kilfinane this week when it plays host to Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh 2017.

The event, which is being hosted by Ballyhoura Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, beings on Wednesday, May 31 and runs until Monday, June 5.

“We are hoping that we will have a couple of thousand in attendance,” commented Sarah Gleeson, Branch Secretary Ballyhoura CCE.

“There would be in the region of 800 competitors coming and that’s just competiton entries - within that there could be groups entered. The general number is about 1,000 competitors and each of them generally brings a mam and dad with them, a brother, sister or maybe a friend.”

Along with a line-up of musicians including North Cregg, Bernadette Nic Gabhann, Derek Hickey, Caoimhin and Sean O'Fhearghail, Cliona Halley, Katie Hennessy, Bobby Gardiner, and Ronan Ryan there is plenty for foodies, outdoors enthusiasts, historians, and families.

The festival opens with a singing seisiun by Nell Ni Chroinin on Wednesday, May 31 at 8.30pm at Kelleher’s Bar in the village.

It will close on June 5 with Fleadh Tunes - a gentle close to what will undoubtedly be a lively weekend.

In between there is the Hup na Houra traditional show which is nearly booked out, dance competitions, an open market, a family fun day, an historical walk, yoga through Irish and of course Fleadh competitions.

“We have good plans made at both schools - Scoil Fhionain and Scoil Pol which are being used as competition venues, with thanks to both principals,” said Ms Gleeson.

“Our primary focus is to run the competitions really well with the county board. We have the fringe festival built all around the competition which includes everything that happens up on the main street.”

A highlight of the event will be the free seisiúns in the local pubs over the five nights.

“What we have done is Facebooked all the musicians to come into town. The line-up for the sessions is fantastic and it’s all free,” added Ms Gleeson.

“We have invested as a branch in the weekend which was our decision because we felt we wanted to give back to the community of Kilfinane because we have been so well supported since we started.

“We are actually putting all our money into just running the weekend and putting free things on for people.”

The organisers are encouraging competitors to stay in the area and enjoy the local amenities rather than departing after taking part in the competition.

“We want to ensure that they come up and see what’s on offer in the main street,” said Ms Gleeson who thanked the local community and spsonsors for their tireless support.

For further details see the cceballyhoura Facebook page or email