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Mícheal Ó Riabhaigh, of The Fleadh Down In Ennis group . Photograph by John Kelly.

The Fleadh down in Ennis

FLEADH Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 is set for a ‘glór-ious’ launch on this Friday night.

Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ard-Stiúrthóir, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann will launch the Fleadh, which will be held in Ennis from August 14 to 21, before an invited audience in Glór.

There has been much excitement and anticipation around the town and county following the decision of an Ardchomhairle last March to entrust the local Abbey Branch with the honour of hosting the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2016, after a gap of almost 40 years.

Since then, chairman Mícheál Ó Riabhaigh and the Fleadh Executive Committee, in partnership with Clare County Council, An Garda Síochána, the health and emergency services, have enthusiastically set about the task of organising the event. And what a mammoth task it is, with an estimated 400,000 visitors, 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians due to descend on Ennis and its environs over the course of nine days next summer.

The official opening will give people a taste of what is in store for next year’s event, as well as the chance to learn about key elements of the festival, including accommodation, volunteering and accessibility. Representatives of the business and hospitality sectors from the region will be there to hear of the ways in which they can contribute to the success of the festival.

Of course, no Fleadh event would be complete without some traditional music and the launch will include entertainment from Chris Droney and family, Tara Breen, Kieran Hanrahan, Padraic and Damien O’Reilly, the Cois na hAbhna Seisiún Group, Ennisytmon CCÉ, Anne Kirrane, Denise Whelan, Peter Casey, Róisín Rodgers, Eoin Killeen and the West Clare set dancers.

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