Among the speeches on the Gig Rig at the opening ceremony of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2022 were some big names.
Chairman of the Fleadh Executive Committee Joe Connaire was first up, addressing the 5,000 festival-goers in Blackhall, he described the scenes before him as “six years in the making”.
“Isn’t it just amazing to see the sun shining in Mullingar and the crowds in town,” he said. “I welcome every one of you here today.
“It’s been a long road to get the Fleadh here, where Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann as an organisation was founded in 1951.
“I want to sincerely thank our volunteer committee, we have hundreds at our disposal who ensure we make this a very enjoyable event. I also want to thank all our sponsors and Westmeath County Council – without them, this wouldn’t take place.
“I look forward to music being played in every nook, alley and corner of this town. It’s all about the music and the people, so let’s embrace the music, singing and dancing.”