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Róisín sings The Fleadh Down in Ennis

GALWAY-based traditional music teacher and singer Róisín Rodgers has always been inspired by the iconic traditional singers of our time, among them the late great Robbie McMahon. His passing has been felt throughout the traditional music community and the title of his traditional song, The Fleadh Down in Ennis, is being used as a slogan for this year’s All-Ireland Fleadh. Róisín took on the challenge of learning and singing this song, which is 10 verses long, and carries the history of the first All-Ireland Fleadh to be hosted by Ennis in 1956. It was one of two songs that earned her a first place finish in the Connacht Fleadh last year. Now the 25-year-old singer will be filmed by Fleadh TV singing the iconic song. Although she hails from Ballinruan, Róisín now lives in Galway, where she teaches music privately. “I started learning it out of love for the song. I entered the Connacht Fleadh and it was amazing what …

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A feast of music at Fleadh

A huge number of people  are descending on Ennis  today (Thursday), ahead of the main competitive events that will determine who will take All-Ireland titles across 180 categories. The Fleadh Cheoil organising committee estimate in the region of 30,000 to 35,000 people attended the opening day events on Sunday, including 12,000 at the opening ceremony, the Boffin to Burren concert at Glór, the Tulla Céilí Band at Cois na hAbhna, the luminarium, aifreann traidisiúnta, the Gig Rig and evening pub sessions, as well as performers, volunteers, stage crews, security, TV crews and other service providers. This figure is expected to increase exponentially from today, with the influx of 6,000 competitors, their families and friends, as well as visitors and music and dancing enthusiasts. With this surge, gardaí are anticipating that opportunistic crime such as pickpocketing will occur and are advising the public to be mindful of this, particularly in large gatherings of people. Clare’s Garda Chief Superintendent John Kerin warned, “The real type …

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Fleadh 2016 kicks off on a high note

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was officially launched on Sunday afternoon to throngs of people who gathered in the county town to celebrate this momentus occasion. Crowds lined the streets as the festivities began with a parade through the town centre. Ennis came alive with the sound of music, as groups found spots to set up and play awaiting the arrival of President Michael D Higgins. Special tribute was paid to the late Clare singer, Robbie McMahon whose song, The Fleadh Down in Ennis, has been rolled out once again in celebration of the talent that has descended on Ennis for the 2016 All Ireland Fleadh. Addressing the masses in Abbey Street Car Park, and those onlooking from balconies and windows overhead President Higgins, paid tribute to Robbie and this iconic song quoting, “They came from the North and they came from the East from the West and the South ‘twas a thriller to see”. Robbie was also mentioned in the …

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Clare dog on the scent of victory in the ‘Nose of Tralee’

A RESCUED Ennis dog is to represent County Clare at the forthcoming Nose of Tralee competition, which is being run by Pet Sitters Ireland. Rooney, a Hungarian Vizsla rescue dog, is the Clare contender and owner, Orsolya Shannon outlined how far he has come since he was rescued from the pound last year. “He was already four years old when we found him in the local pound, nervous and scared. From the first day, he has been eager to please, loving, playful and a wonderful companion for us and our other Vizsla, Abby. The irony is not lost – we rescued him and now he is in training to become a search and rescue dog. His hard-working, loyal nature and outstanding nose means he has flown through training and should soon be qualified,” she said. Rooney was selected as one of 32 dogs nationwide that are in contention for the Nose of Tralee title and was selected out of 1,200 …

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Children’s postcards from the Fleadh

THE protection of the environment is the theme of postcards designed by young people from across the county, which have been distributed throughout Ennis to coincide with Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The Green Fleadh Postcard Competition for primary schools sought designs on the themes of litter and waste recycling, energy, water and travel. The winning postcards, which have been selected by the Green Fleadh team, are designed by Eabha McNamara, senior infants, St Mochulla’s Tulla; Dylan Williams, first class, Ennis NS; Sarah Gorman, fourth class, Clarecastle NS and Conor Farrell, fifth class, Corofin NS. The postcards featuring the successful puplis’ name, class and school are being made available at a number of locations, including the Fleadh Office Headquarters at Áras Contae an Chláir, the Fleadh Office in the Market, Ennis Tourist Office, Ennis Chamber of Commerce on O’Connell Street and the Visit Clare Office in Abbey Street Carpark. “The Green Fleadh team has implemented measures to keep Clare clean and …

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Check-up for lifejackets in Kilrush

KILRUSH RNLI lifeboat crew are holding their station open day this Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Another big event over the busy weekend will be an opportunity for boating and sailing enthusiasts to have their lifejackets checked. The open day on Sunday allows members of the public to visit the RNLI station, see the lifeboat and, most importantly, meet the crew who volunteer their time to help save lives at sea. Weather permitting, it is hoped to have the Shannon-based rescue helicopter, Rescue 115, along for a display, as well as plenty of other activities. Meanwhile, on Saturday from 7pm to 9pm at Kilrush Marina, there will be a free lifejacket clinic. Members of the public can bring their lifejackets and find out how to wear, check and maintain them. Kilrush RNLI crew are asking people to #RespectTheWater by visiting RNLI.org/RespectTheWater, where they will find information on coastal hazards, how to keep themselves safe and what to do should they or someone else …

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Ambitious Fleadh plan comes to fruition

SITTING in the Old Ground Hotel after a busy Fleadh Nua in Ennis, an ambitious plan was hatched, a plan that will be realised with the welcoming of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to Ennis. The initial idea for the Abbey branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to bid to host the festival was decided upon on that fateful day by Micheál Ó Riabhaigh, Rory Casey and Frank Whelan. After a number of attempts to win the coveted title of host town, this month will see the culmination of the hard work of the Abbey branch, along with supporters of the bid from across all sectors. Frank Whelan of the Abbey branch remembers the day when the notion to bid for the Fleadh first occurred. “On a Sunday after Fleadh Nua, five or six years ago, Micheál, Rory Casey and myself were sitting having a cup of coffee and that’s where the plan was made to bring Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to …

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Surprise for ‘young gardaí in Shannon

Two new garda recruits got quite a surprise when they inspected Shannon Airport’s VIP room today (Tuesday). Gardaí Jordan Perez and Ceejay McArdle a duo with their own heroic stories, got an insight into how it’s possible to meet just about anyone – including their hero, Munster and Ireland rugby star CJ Stander at the airport. Ceejay (4), from Castleblaney, County Monaghan and Jordan (8), from Sixmilebridge, were deployed to Shannon to assist in security checks for the day and when they checked the VIP room they found the internatinal rugby player. The special security officers were detailed to the airport as part of an ongoing community initiative by the Garda Relations Bureau (GRB). Ceejay, who is undergoing intense treatment for leukaemia, last year became an Garda Siochana’ s youngest ever member and this weekend Jordan, who is wheelchair bound with muscular dystrophy, joined him on the very special beat courtesy of Chief Superintendent John Kerin and Superintendent Brendan McDonagh. …

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