President Michael D. Higgins will open Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the Irish cultural event that will bring music, dance and celebration to every corner in Mullingar next week, from July 31 to August 7, 2022.
The Fleadh Cheoil – the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance – returns to Mullingar after a two-year absence with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media. It is one of the most important cultural festivals in Europe, attracting almost 500,000 visitors to the host city each year.
Minister Catherine Martin welcomed the return of the Irish festival after a pandemic-related hiatus. Speaking of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which is run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the TD said: “It’s a hugely important cultural event for our nation, but it’s also a big boost for local tourism, and not would not be possible without the many volunteers and supporters at Comhaltas and in the wider host community.
“I am pleased to see the re-emergence at the regional and community level of such a wealth of talent after a long and difficult period of caution and restraint. We can look forward to witnessing the events and social gatherings that have defined the Fleadh annual for many of us over the years.”
You are invited! This year Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann returns home to Mullingar. Join us for the Opening Ceremony of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2022 at NMCU Gig Rig, Blackhall, Mullingar this Sunday, July 31 at 12:30 p.m., with President Michael D. Higgins as special guest. pic.twitter.com/TJequxczBI
— Fleadh Cheoil (@fleadhcheoil) July 28, 2022
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) has received €2 million in funding from the Department in 2022, which has been running the festival since it was first held in Mullingar in 1951. €100,000 will go towards the costs of organizing this year’s Fleadh, which is titled The Homecoming because of the great Comhaltas history of the county town of Westmeath. He will return to Mullingar from July 31 to August 7, 2022.
Organizers have announced that this year’s festival, which will be opened by President Michael D. Higgins on Sunday, will also focus on street entertainment with impromptu, unpaid and unamplified traditional Irish music sessions taking place in all the city.
Catherine Martin TD thanked those who contributed to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann: “I would like to specifically acknowledge this year the commitment and substantial support of Westmeath County Council and the Westmeath County Board of Comhaltas, who, together with its seven branches at Mullingar, Ballynacargy, Castletown-Geoghegan, Rathconrath, Moate and Castlepollard offered to bring the Fleadh to the founding town of Comhaltas.
Their efforts and dedication have paid off, and I hope they will be rewarded with public support and participation in the Fleadh program. »
The last Fleadh Cheoil took place in Drogheda, Co Louth in 2019, with previous festivals taking place in Sligo, Tullamore, Ennis, Cavan and many other towns in Ireland since 1951.
TG4 will broadcast live from Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann from Friday August 5th to Sunday August 7th each evening from 9.30pm to 11pm. The series will also be available live worldwide on the TG4 Player.