Dungiven has just been confirmed as the host town for the Ulster Fleadh in 2011. The traditional music and cultural festival, which will take place between 17th and 24th July next year, has never been held in the town before.
After hosting two successful Derry Fleadhanna in 2007 and 2008, the local Fleadh committee was excited about the prospect of taking the provincial Fleadh to the town in the year of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s 60th anniversary.
Next year’s event, which has been held in Castlewellan for the past three years, will no doubt be a healthy challenge for those involved in organising it, with close to 20,000 visitors expected to pass through the town that week, including large numbers from the nine counties of Ulster, and traditional music lovers from across Ireland.
Chairperson of the Fleadh committee, Mena Boyle, believes that the Fleadh will benefit the community tremendously:
‘Something of this magnitude requires the community as a whole to get behind it and work together to make it a memorable event in the history of the town. In the current economic climate, it is good to have something that can help pull people together and promote community spirit.’
Indeed, members of the Fleadh committee have already appealed to many of the town’s voluntary organisations and clubs to support Dungiven’s bid to host the event, and they have been greatly encouraged by the responses. Everyone is excited about the event, and wants to be involved in any way they can.
Throughout the Ulster Fleadh festivities, one can expect plenty of Irish traditional music, singing and dancing, but, in keeping with any cultural event, there will be something for everyone. Plans are already being discussed to make this event one not to be missed, with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities being considered.
Both St. Canice Primary School and St. Patrick’s College will be a focal point for much of the activity, hosting the all important Ulster Fleadh competitions, which will involve 1,500 competitors – the cream of Irish traditional musicians, singers and dancers in the nine counties of Ulster.
Dungiven Comhaltas is also hopeful that its local young musicians, singers and dancers can win through to the Ulster competitions again this year, adding to the spirit and excitement of the event.
‘The Ulster Fleadh will be hugely beneficial to the town, in terms of tourism and business over the week of the event, but more importantly, it will be the most significant cultural event in the Limavady Borough next year, and will be remembered by the Dungiven community for many years.’
To follow the progress of the Fleadh committee or to find out how to get involved, check out the website: www.ulsterfleadh2011.com.