THE Leinster Fleadh comes to Moate this week and with a week of traditional music, free entertainment, open air performances and much else besides, South Westmeath will be the home of Comhaltas from 7 to 13 July.
Of course the holy grail of Fleadh Cheoil Laighean will be securing an All Ireland spot for competitors, and Moate is saying a big céad míle fáilte to more than 8,000 visitors to the area this week, flocking to enjoy the very best of traditional entertainment.
This weekend will see the best musicians, singers and performers in the province come to Moate, all with the single-minded purpose of ascending to All Ireland placements. The competitions will take place from Friday through to Sunday, the core element of the Leinster Fleadh.
However, Moate is coming alive this week with a busy schedule of entertainment for all to enjoy.
Bringing “the cream of the cream” of traditional Irish performers to Moate, the Fleadh is a major boost to the entire area, said Padraig Keena, Chairman of the Leinster Fleadh committee as the Leinster Fleadh gets off to a great start.
Moate is the town where fiddlers love to play, banjo players too and pipers, tin whistlers, flutists, accordion players, come one, come all, for the seisiún to beat all seisiún is on this week in Moate, with vital competitions for coveted All Ireland places happening throughout the weekend.
The festivities kicked off on Monday, 7 July and from the first note, which incidentally sounded in Dr. Cuppaige’s at the opening seisiún, it was clear that Irish entertainment had found a place near and dear to the hearts of this South Westmeath town.
The Leinster Fleadh was officially launched at a reception in Dun na Si on 5 May. Plans have been in the making for months to bring a unique festival atmosphere to Moate for the week.
Hosting the Fleadh is, said Chairman of Leinster Fleadh committee, Padraig Keena, a source of “great pride for the town”.
The Fleadh is acknowledged as an immense tourist and Michael O’Brien, Chairman of Moate Partnership Group said the event will see 8,000 people flood to the town to enjoy the competitions and the festivals during the week.
The Fleadh is taking place against a backdrop of the careful plans laid by the Fleadh Cheoil Festival committee. Mr. O’Brien has paid tribute to the “magnificent job” carried out by the committee in planning for the event, certainly the most important festival of the summer in Moate.
It will be twelve years before Moate can look forward to the return of the Leinster Fleadh so it is important to enjoy every second of this week and Moate has its best colours out to shine.
“We are showing what Moate can do and the best it has to offer so that visitors are encouraged to come back. We are happy that there something for everyone to enjoy. People who aren’t into the competitions can enjoy the festival atmosphere and the entertainment,” said Mr. Keena. “The Fleadh belongs to the whole community,” he added.
He has high praise for the standard and quality of the venues, Moate Community School, the Community Centre, Tuar Ard and Dun na Si.
He also thanked all of the sponsors whose support is invaluable to the Leinster Fleadh.
The committee, including Mr. Keena, Dick Stokes, Seamus Seery, Doreen Farrelly and Enda Seery have worked hard with the sponsors and the business people of the area to make sure that the Leinster Fleadh is a success for all.
Hosting the Leinster Fleadh is to have a laurel crown of honour bestowed upon a town. However, it is also a serious commitment and Moate is relishing its weeks as the cradle of this mainstay of Irish culture.
The Leinster Fleadh is fostering a sense of community and shining a spotlight on Moate that is making this a week few will want to forget.