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Comhaltas president pays tribute to ‘captivating’ Fleadh Cheoil

Members of the Newbuildings 'Pride of the Orange and Blue' band at the Fleadh Cheoil.
Members of the Newbuildings ‘Pride of the Orange and Blue’ band at the Fleadh Cheoil.

THE first Fleadh Cheoil to be held in the North of Ireland has been described as a ‘captivating experience’ by the British-based President of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

Birmingham’s Vince Jordan was among the thousands of  people that gathered in Derry last week for the 62nd Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

The traditional music and dance festival was launched on Sunday August 11 in Guildhall Square where many spectators took advantage of the city’s walls to view the opening ceremony attended by President Michael D Higgins.

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Speaking to The Irish Post, Mr Jordan said he had already met many visitors from Manchester, Glasgow, Luton, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. “Warmth is the word I would use to describe the atmosphere,” he said.

Last year’s Fleadh in Cavan generated in the region of £40million, so the Fleadh is of huge significance to Derry both economically and culturally, Mr Jordan added.

The Fleadh is the world’s largest celebration of traditional Irish culture, hosted this year by Comhaltas Doire.

The event welcomed 300,000 people, 20,000 musicians performing in 100 events, and required a team of 1,500 volunteers.

The line-up featured the biggest names in traditional and folk music. There was a headline concert by Cara Dillon with the Orchestra of Ireland and a performance from Derry’s own Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

Master uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn also gave an exclusive performance of The Poet and the Piper.

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