Sunday, 17 July 2011

Fleadh Uladh 17-24 July in Dungiven

 There is great community spirit in Dungiven for Fleadh Uladh this year, the first time the event will be held in the Co. Derry town.  The Fleadh will last from Sunday 17th July to Sunday 24th July, and will be jam packed with a variety of events to engage all sections of the community in Irish cultural heritage.

After winning their bid for the largest summer music event in Ulster last October, the local organizing committee began to plan an 8-day long festival celebrating traditional Irish music, song and dance.
This celebration of culture has been held for the past three years in Castlewellan, and in 2010 the event was merged with Celtic Fusion as part of the 50th anniversary of the Ulster Fleadh festivities.
The Dungiven committee also have reason to celebrate this year, with the 60th anniversary of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann, the nationwide organisation that co-ordinates the Fleadh and helps promote Irish culture and heritage.

The Fleadh committee are very keen to express their sincere appreciation to all of the support they have received to finance and manage the music festival. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Limavady Borough Council and Comhaltas are Fleadh Uladh’s principle funders, with Purvis Precast Stone and St. Canice’s G.A.C. sharing the title as main sponsors. In particular, the local businesses have donated very generously, and the committee would also like to thank in particular those who are not direct beneficiaries.

‘There has been a fantastic feeling of community spirit surrounding this event,’ said chairman Jeremy Granleese. ‘There have been so many efforts to make this year’s Fleadh something special. A special town clean-up committee was formed to help improve the aesthetic impact of the town’s Main Street for the onslaught of visitors for the Fleadh.’

The unsightly buildings in the town centre have been a talking point in the town for many months, and with several efforts being made to help improve the town’s image, the Fleadh seemed like the perfect excuse to make sure that something would finally be done.

Already there have been improvements to several buildings, and with only six weeks left until Fleadh Uladh kicks off, the town looks set to receive a significant make over.

The programme of events includes all of the usual activities associated with the Ulster Fleadh (seisiúns, competitions, ceilis, etc.) But there are also a number of special events, including the Songs of the People concert in St. Canice’s Hall on Thursday 21st July, bringing together all of the best singers in Ulster to celebrate the traditional singing heritage of the province.

There will also be a night celebrating the Celtic Harp, and an effort to break the Guinness World Record for the most people playing the national anthem on an instrument together in one venue on Saturday 23rd July.

The Ulster Fleadh attracts thousands of people each year to its host town, with 2,000 competitors in the competitions and many more spectators. Dungiven’s first ever year at hosting the event is sure to be one to remember.

More Information:   Fleadh Uladh

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