Daire Lennon, Orán Lennon and Doireann Ní Mhurchú enjoying the sunshine in Newtownforbes at last year's fleadh Picture: Shelley Corcoran
It's almost fleadh season in Longford and the Newtownforbes-Longford branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is once again gearing up to host the county fleadh on April 5, 6 and 7.
Chairperson Yvonne Ní Mhurchú was thrilled to announce that, after such a highly successful event last year, the county fleadh will once again take place in Newtownforbes.
“We are really looking forward to hosting Fleadh Cheoil Longfoirt in Newtownforbes for the second year running,” she said.
“Last year was a great success and we had wonderful support from the local community. It is a really enjoyable weekend for all and a real chance for us to showcase our beautiful village.
“There are competitions held over the three days and music sessions in the local pubs each night. This year we are holding a concert in the PJ Murphy Hall at Clonguish GAA Complex on Friday night, April 5 at 7.30pm.
“It promises to be a great night with a feast of musical entertainment and we hope lots of people, young and old, come along to enjoy it.”
Hundreds of people are expected to travel to Newtownforbes over the weekend. There will be ceol agus craic in the three pubs in Newtownforbes but the main purpose of the Fleadh Cheoil is the competitions.
All over County Longford young musicians are busy practising their tunes, hoping for success and a chance to represent the county at the Leinster Fleadh, which this year is being held in Athboy/ Ráth Chairn, Co Meath in July.
Interest in traditional music is at an all-time high in Longford. Edgeworthstown and Granard have long-established Comhaltas branches but the branch in Newtownforbes was founded only three years ago.
It now has over 230 members including 160 children who take part in music lessons every Saturday in Newtownforbes. The branch also runs a class for adults every Thursday evening in Teach Ceoil, Clondra.
The fleadh kicks off on Friday April 5 at Scoil Mhuire NS, Newtownforbes with competitions in Comhrá Gaeilge, Storytelling and Scéalaíocht, followed by a concert that night.
Competitions and events will take place around the village across the weekend and it promises to be an enjoyable few days.
“We are so grateful to all our local sponsors and of course to Principal Liam Madden, Scoil Mhuire NS and Clonguish GAA for providing the venues,” said Ms Ní Mhurchú.
“We have also had great support and advice again this year from the County Board of Longford Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and the other two Longford CCÉ branches, Joe Callaghan CCÉ (Edgeworthstown) and John Dungan CCÉ (Granard).”
The official launch of Fleadh Cheoil Longfoirt 2019 will be held in McGowan’s, Newtownforbes on Friday night, March 22 at 8.30pm.