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Fleadh Nua goes global

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LIKE many other events around the county, this year’s Fleadh Nua in Ennis has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

However, not to disappoint the thousands of regular Fleadh goers from around the country and overseas, the organisers of the festival are putting together an online programme of traditional music, song and dance and seeking to raise much needed funds for Trocaire in the process.

“When people heard that this years Fleadh wouldn’t be going ahead we received many messages from those who attend the event every year, saying how sad they were not to be able to come to Ennis for Fleadh Nua 2020, especially since this year’s event had been scheduled for the June Bank Holiday weekend,” said Frank Whelan, Cathaoirleach of Fleadh Nua.

But to ensure that fans of the festival will not miss out on the Fleadh Nua experience, the event will take to Facebook, with highlights of some of the best of the festival over the years.

“Fleadh Nua has been running in Ennis for over forty years now and we are fortunate in the Cois na hAbhna Archive to have video and film of some of the Fleadhanna down through the years.

“Everyone of a certain age remembers the huge Fleadhs in the 1970’s and the cultural parades through the town were always a highlight of the festival in the 70s, 80’s and 90’s. And of course Fleadh Nua has always attracted the best of traditional musicians from all over Ireland and abroad and we are fortunate to have recordings of some of these performances going back over the years” Frank commented.

Scheduled to coincide with the planned week of the festival from Sunday 24th May to Monday 1st June, the videos will be uploaded daily at 8pm and will feature recordings of musicians and singers who have performed down through the years.

Fleadh favourites such as Chris Droney and Kitty Linnane, Joe Burke, The Liverpool Céilí Band, The Kilfenora and The Tulla, The Chieftains, Des Mulkere and Charlie Harris, Vincent Griffin, Seamus Connolly, Noel Hill, the legendary Robbie McMahon and many others will feature.

“It’s a great opportunity to relive some of the magic moments of Fleadh Nua from the early days right up to the present but you’ll also have the opportunity to support a great cause by making a voluntary donation to ‘Trad For Trocaire’ to support the great work of the charity around the world, especially at this time.

“Since it started, ‘Trad for Trocaire’, in association with Comhaltas, has raised hundreds of thousands of Euro to support their work throughout the developing world. This year, because the schools have been closed, Tocaire’s annual Lenten Campaign, with the Trocaire boxes, has been badly hit, so we’re hoping that visitors to our Facebook Fleadh, if you can, might contribute a bit to help out with what is a very good cause” Frank added.

The online Fleadh can be found on the Fleadh Nua Facebook Page from Sunday 24th May to Monday 1st of June. Bigí Linn!

Elaine has been a member of staff with The Clare Echo since its foundation in October 2017. The paper's first Chief Reporter, the Kilrush woman is now working as a sub-editor in our busy newsroom. In 2015, she graduated from the University of Limerick with a Masters in Journalism. Elaine briefly worked with the RTE Investigations Unit on the Standards in Public Office investigation before returning to Clare to continue her career as a reporter with the Clare People where she spent nine months as the West Clare correspondent and also covered the 2016 General Election and 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

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