This week, as the members of Westmeath County Council approved a record Budget total of €90.5 million for the year 2022 at their annual Estimates meeting, the Council also made it clear that they are providing full support for next year’s long-delayed Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Mullingar, by allocating a total of €625,000 towards the costs of running the country’s biggest annual cultural event.
Mullingar is the town where Comhaltas Ceoltoirí na hÉireann was founded in 1951, and where the first All Ireland Fleadh took place in the same year, but the much-anticipated return of the huge All Ireland Irish cultural festival to Mullingar in 2020 and also in 2021 was stopped by the Covid-19 pandemic, and it was granted the All Ireland for 2022, with the event to run from July 29 until August 8 of next year.
The CEO of Westmeath County Council, Pat Gallagher stressed the importance of Council support for the All Ireland Fleadh, describing how Mullingar was its birthplace and the All Ireland was very significant for Mullingar and Westmeath and for the wider region.
He indicated at the meeting that the County Council will be providing administrative support, with clerical assistance and appointing a co-ordinator.
There was positive news also about the 2022 All Ireland Fleadh when the Árd-Stiúrthóir of Comhaltas Labhrás Ó Murchú and his wife Nuala Ní Murchú attended a special Mass of Remembrance for the deceased members of Comhaltas throughout the midlands, offered in Aras an Mhuilinn in Mullingar.
The Mass was offered by Most Rev. Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath on Friday evening last, 19 November and was attended by members of Comhaltas and relatives of deceased members from Westmeath, Longford, Laois and Offaly.
Mr. O Murchú informed all in attendance that he is sure and certain that Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann will be coming to Mullingar in August next, adding that “everyone from the four corners of the world are looking forward to this Fleadh Cheoil in Mullingar more than any other.”
The Comhaltas supremo said that everyone in Ireland and around the world were looking for something to lift them from the disaster that is Covid-19.