The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Ms Catherine Martin TD today approved support of €100,000 towards the organisational costs of Fleadh Cheoil 2022.
The Fleadh Cheoil is the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance. It attracts in the region of 500,000 visitors to the host town during the period of the festival, with an estimate of more than 20% coming from abroad.
Minister Martin was pleased to meet this morning with Joe Connaire (Chairman) and the members of the organising committee of Fleadh Cheoil 2022 to discuss the preparations for the event to take place in Mullingar, Co Westmeath from 31 July to 7 August. Welcoming the return of the largest festival of traditional Irish music and dance, and recognising the challenges being faced by organisers in the COVID-19 recovery period, the Minister was satisfied to provide the financial support as an exceptional measure. The meeting was also attended by Ministers of State, Robert Troy and Peter Burke.
Minister Martin said:
The Fleadh Cheoil is the highlight of the year for performers and enthusiasts of traditional Irish music and dance. The absence of an in-person event has been greatly felt across the Irish and international traditional music community and I’m delighted the Mullingar team plans for Fleadh to be back better than ever in 2022. This special fund is in recognition of the fact the festival was unable to proceed in the last two years and needs support as audiences finally return.
I send my best wishes that the Fleadh will be a great success, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors to Mullingar and shared with a growing digital audience worldwide. This great summer festival will raise our spirits nationwide and contribute very strongly to economic recovery in the area.
The Minister acknowledged with thanks the support of Westmeath County Council for Fleadh Cheoil 2022. The Minister also wished to convey her appreciation of the achievements of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, both for the tremendous achievement in promoting the culture of Ireland – the Irish language, traditional music and dance – but also as an important community network of volunteers and branches that has done so much to sustain people through the pandemic and to strengthen the links with the Irish communities abroad.