Wel­come the Fleadh!

Drogheda Independent - - OPINION -

Dear Sir,

AL­LOW me to be frank and hon­est. I can­not re­mem­ber the last time I at­tended a Fleadh Cheoil. As some rock mu­si­cian said about the six­ties, ‘If you re­mem­ber, you weren’t there’’

It was back in the days when a whiff of a bar­maid’s apron had me drunk for a week. Any­way with my looks, lack of inches, charm, per­son­al­ity and danc­ing skills prob­a­bly not a lot. I do re­mem­ber some of naughty mis­be­haviour of oth­ers, but like the pri­est in the Con­fes­sional my lips are sealed. What hap­pens at the Fleadh stays at the Fleadh.

Be­lated con­grat­u­la­tions to the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee. They have worked hard over the years plan­ning the of­fi­cial events which they will be re­spon­si­ble for or­gan­is­ing. I say of­fi­cial as there will be a host of ac­tiv­i­ties which will spring up dur­ing the week, street mu­sic, danc­ing, etc. It will be like a hoo­ley, while the of­fi­cial party will be in the sit­ting-room, lounge if you’re posh, you will see break­away group on the stairs or in the kitchen where I usu­ally hang out. Peo­ple en­cour­age me into the kitchen. I sup­pose if I’m eat­ing I can’t talk.

The mem­bers of the Com­mit­tee have been at­tend­ing the Fleadh for many years, some for decades. I know some of the peo­ple in­volved and their or­gan­is­ing skills are sec­ond to none. I am very aware that they have been in con­tact with nu­mer­ous groups around the town iden­ti­fy­ing what in­put they can pro­vide. Some groups pri­vately trav­eled to this year’s Fleadh to con­sult some of the stake­hold­ers as to how they pro­vide ser­vices.

When you ob­serve a duck on a pond all seems calm while un­der­neath the said bird is pad­dling hard. The Fleadh com­mit­tee knows what has to be done and it is be­ing done.

They pre­sented a plan to the Na­tional Fleadh Com­mit­tee of Comhal­tas Ce­oltoiri Eire­ann. They fought off com­pe­ti­tion from other towns who wanted to or­gan­ise the 2018 event. Un­less their plan was vi­able they would not have won the host­ing of this great event. Host­ing it is not only a great hon­our but it will cre­ate ex­tra em­ploy­ment in the weeks be­fore and dur­ing. I would hope that lo­cal busi­nesses will adopt a wel­com­ing ap­proach and not rip off vis­i­tors. If they do they can say good­bye to a pos­si­ble sec­ond year.

When CCE and the Fleadh Com­mit­tee have all their ducks lined up in a row they will pub­lish them. The func­tion of the com­mu­nity is to get be­hind the or­gan­is­ers and en­joy the events, of­fi­cial and on the streets. We are in for a treat of a week, a fan­tas­tic feast of Ir­ish Tra­di­tional Mu­sic and Dance and much more.

Of course we will have the usual sus­pects com­plain­ing about lit­tle and noth­ing.

I would say to them go or­gan­ise your own party.

Let us, the peo­ple of Drogheda row be­hind the peo­ple who are bring­ing Fleadh Cheoil Na hEire­ann to the town. They are not politi­cians. They know what they are do­ing. They are do­ing it be­cause they love our tra­di­tions. They love their home town. They will do more in one week for Drogheda that any politi­cian could, in their wildest dreams, do in a life­time in pol­i­tics.

Let us roll out the wel­come mat. There will be more vis­i­tors to Drogheda than at­tended the Pa­pal Mass in Killi­neer. Let us send out a pos­i­tive mes­sage. When peo­ple hear the phrase Cead Mile Failte let them think of Drogheda Yours, Gerry Floyd.

The Fleadh will be huge for Drogheda.

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