Mullingar Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann Organising Committee Chairman Joe Connaire has said he’s willing to “stay focused for another year” if the Fleadh is to return to the town in 2023.
The final decision on where next year’s competition will be held is to be made on September 3.
Bids from Wexford and Belfast will challenge its return to Mullingar, but the Director General of Comhaltas Ceoiltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), Labhrás Ó Murchú, has revealed that the town “will obviously be the front runner”.
Joe Connaire said he felt a sense of relief as this year’s Fleadh, six-years in the making, finally arrived and was a huge success.
“We faced a huge dilemma over the years, so did everyone, that was Covid. We almost had the whole thing organised in March 2020 after giving it three to four years of planning previous to that.
“For it to be shelved in a heartbeat was hard to take at the time but we refocused the committee, we lost some people and brought some people in to help reorganise.
“We told everyone who had been involved that we were in this for the long haul and, in fairness to everyone, it went so well – you’d have to commend the volunteers who put so much time in.”
The Chairman said that thanks to the professionalism and enthusiasm of volunteers, the festival was one of the best he had seen.
“They [volunteers] made the Fleadh what it was, they made it so enjoyable. I’m really glad that people are noticing the volunteer work and commenting on the volunteers. We’re all volunteers at the end of the day and spent countless hours bringing this huge event to the town.
“Without them it wouldn’t have been possible.”