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Tag Archives: Frank Whelan

Flatley did Fleadh opening for free

MICHAEL Flatley was not paid for his role in the opening ceremony of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis. Rumours had circulated that thousands of euro changed hands but Frank Whelan, chairman of the Fleadh Cheoil Committee, said this was not the case. “We were graced by Michael Flatley, who agreed to do it for us. I think there were rumours going around but he did this on a voluntary basis for us. There was no question of payment.” While a figure of 450,000 people attending the Fleadh has been reported, he said it was likely to have been slightly higher. “The event controller said it was 455,000 or 456,000 or something like that, but they rounded it off at 450,000. I’d say the actual figure would have been a little in excess,” he claimed. As the Fleadh reached its zenith on Saturday, there were around 100,000 people in attendance. This was the largest crowd seen on one day in …

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Ennis Fleadh breaks attendance record

The largest crowd ever thronged the streets of Ennis for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017. Over 450,000 people attended over nine days of the largest traditional Irish music festival in the world. Numbers peaked at 100,000 on Saturday when crowds exceeded anything ever experienced in the town. All operational plans including a detailed Pedestrian Management plan operated effectively throughout the entire event. Nine hundred students participated in masterclasses at Scoil Éigse. Concert audiences broke all records, Fleadh TV broadcast nine hours of exhilarating TV, while Legacy, Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann’s flagship orchestral performance, premiered to the packed 2,000 seater Shannon Aerodome. In tribute to Ennis, Fleadh goers were enthusiastic in their appreciation of the scale and professionalism of the event organisation. Businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors indicated a significant increase in footfall and the success of the Fleadh can also be attributed to the efficient and friendly welcome extended by their teams. “We hope that Ennis, Clare and the …

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Michael Flatley opens Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this weekend

Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley will officially launch Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the largest Irish Traditional Music Festival in the world, in Ennis tomorrow, Sunday August 6 at 2.30pm in the Abbey Street Car Park in Ennis town centre. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is delighted that the man who revolutionised Irish dance, and who previously took to the stage at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis in 1977 as a competitor, will now return to the Clare county town 40 years later to declare the Fleadh open to a new generation of competitors. For many, the Fleadh is the culmination of months of hard work and practice as they compete against fellow musicians, singers and dancers to achieve the recognition of being an All-Ireland champion. For others it is a unique and welcoming festival of the best of traditional arts that offers a wide range of activities to be enjoyed by all. Shannon Airport has come on board once again as the …

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Michael Flatley to open Fleadh

Fleadh organisers are celebrating a major coup after securing global dance superstar Michael Flately to perform the official opening of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis next month. The man who revolutionised Irish dancing will take to the Fly Shannon stage in Abbey Street car park on Sunday, August 13. The 59-year-old dancer, choreographer and musician will briefly address the gathering, before taking up the flute with uilleann piper and composer, Gerard Fahy, from Ballinakill in County Galway. “It is a great honour to be asked to open this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis. It is such a great home of traditional music and a place I have very fond memories of, including winning the All-Ireland there many years ago. “It is vitally important for all of us to nurture young talent and to encourage young people today to play Irish music. I’m really looking forward to it and am sure it will be a huge success,” said …

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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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Ennis Fleadh bid gets a boost

CLARE could be tuning up for a €30 million Fleadh Cheoil windfall in 2016, after a bid to secure the return festival to the Banner County got a major boost. Efforts to host the lucrative 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competition in Ennis got a significant shot in the arm after a submission from the local branch defeated Cork City by 11 votes to nine. For the first time ever, counties have to submit their plans for hosting the event and Clare’s bid, which was in the name of the Abbey branch in Ennis, triumphed, with two votes to spare. It is expected a final decision on the current shortlist will be made next March. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was last held in Ennis in 1977. People always remember the 1956 Fleadh too, made famous by the Robbie McMahon song, The Fleadh Down in Ennis. Ennis is now in a three-horse race involving Sligo, who are hosting the All-Ireland showpiece …

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