Ennis to bid for Fleadh 2013

This article is from page 4 of the 2011-12-27 edition of The Clare People. OCR mistakes are to be expected so download the original SWF or the rendered page 4 JPG

DESPITE narrowly losing out on the right to host the 2012 Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, Ennis is expected to bid for the 2013 event.

Despite preparing a bid that was described as “exceptional and impressive” by the director of Comhaltas, Labhrás O Murchú, Ennis lost out on the right to stage to 2012 Fleadh to Cavan.

In doing so the town also lost out on a potential € 20 million windfall, which organisers say would have been generated by the festival.

Just one vote separated the rival bids with Cavan securing Ireland’s largest festival of traditional music and dance for a third successive year.

Despite that disappointment it is now thought that the Fleadh working group are renewing their efforts to bring the country’s largest festival of traditional, music, dance and song back to Ennis for the first time since 1977.

Town manager Ger Dollard said last week that it is understood that Ennis will bid for the Fleadh in 2013. Mr Dollard said a decision on the matter would be taken by the end of January.

If Ennis does enter the race then it will face stiff competition from Derry with organisers there hoping to capitalize on the city’s status as the 2013 City of Culture.

The Ennis bid was presented to Comhaltas officials at the headquarters of Clare County Council in April.

The presentation was backed by a network of organisations including local authorities, Shannon Development, the Vintner’s Federation of Ireland, local business groups, the GAA, the Gardaí and the emergency services.

The working group’s proposal document stated that 200,000 people would visit Ennis during the event.

The document identified 25 venues where events could be held while the working group said that Ennis town centre would be pedestrianised during the course of the week-long festival.

The working group also identified fifteen proposed camping sites in and around Ennis, which will facilitate over 800 tents and in excess of 250 camper vans.

New technology and all aspects of social media would be embraced under the bid to create the first iFleadh.

The decision to award the Fleadh to Cavan and Derry’s frontrunner status for 2013 provoked strong criticism from local politicians.

In October, the Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Michael Guilfoyle (Ind), cast doubts on Ennis’s prospects of staging the Fleadh in 2013 or 2014, claiming he had been told that “Derry had it” during a visit to this year’s festival in Cavan.

Last week, Cllr Christy Curtin (Ind), who was Mayor of Clare when the Ennis bid was launched, expressed his disappointment that the town had lost out.

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