All-Ireland fleadh begins in Derry

August 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

Aug 14, – 300,000 are expected in Londonderry this week for the All-Ireland fleadh. Arty McGlynn and Cara Dillon are among the artists who will perform at the festival of traditional Irish music.

hromedia All-Ireland fleadh begins in Derry eu news1Thousands attended the opening ceremony at Guildhall Square on Sunday. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said it was “the start of a momentous week for the city, the north west, and for everyone in Ireland”.

“This is the first time the fleadh has been hosted in the north of Ireland and has the potential to attract 300,000 people; generating £40m for the north west,” he said.

“I’m sure this will not only be a great fleadh but also one of the best ever, as we celebrate the very finest in music, song, dance and all the great things our culture has to offer.” The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins made a speech, congratulating the city.

“You can clearly see the preparations that have been made,” he said.

“To be able to reach back to all the different traditions is fantastic.

“I’m very confident that the people supporting Derry in the year of culture 2013 are creating a positive atmosphere.

‘New space’

“I see Derry as a much more open place.

“It is important to say that moving on is ok. There is great determination to move on here. We are in a new space.” Over the course of the week it is expected that 20,000 musicians will descend on the city to compete in what is being described by the organisers as the “Olympics of traditional music”.

The traditional festival will end on 18 August with a spectacular finale at Ebrington Square. Performances throughout the week will include acts such as Cara Dillon, Dervish and Liam O’Flynn.

There will also be a number of competitions, Irish dancing and story-telling sessions.

Northern Ireland Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: “This will be a spectacular event and a major coup for the City of Culture to host the largest celebration of Irish traditional music in the world.

“In churches, halls and squares, all across the city, music will echo from dawn to dusk.  “I am particularly looking forward to the Poet and the Piper – an exclusive performance of two of the country’s finest, Derry’s own Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney taking the stage with iconic uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn for a wonderful evening of poetry and music.”

Press coordinator for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo contributed to this report.

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