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Frank Whelan

Fleadh Nua hits the right note by going online

THIS year’s Fleadh Nua has struck a right note with plans to move online while also raising vital funds for charity. Like many other events around the county, this year’s Fleadh Nua in Ennis has been cancelled as a result of Covid-19.
However in a bid not to disappoint the thousands of regular Fleadh goers from around the country and overseas, organisers of 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 year’s 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.
To ensure 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 from the festival over the years.
“Fleadh Nua has been running in Ennis for over 40 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 1970s and the cultural parades through the town were always a highlight of the festival in the ‘80s and ‘90s. 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,” he adds.
Scheduled to coincide with the planned week of the festival from this Sunday to Monday, June 1, the videos will be uploaded daily at 8pm and will feature recordings of musicians and singers who have performed down through the years including Fleadh favourites such as Chris Droney and Kitty Linnane, Joe Burke, The Liverpool Céilí Band, The Kilfenora, The Chieftains, Des Mulkere and Charlie Harris, Vincent Griffin, Seamus Connolly, Noel Hill, the legendary Robbie McMahon and many others.
“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, Trocaire’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.”

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