Thousands of people are expected in Limavady this weekend for the 2017 County Derry Fleadh, an event organisers say provides a great opportunity to show the town at its very best.
PR officer for the Fleadh organising Committee, Eoin O’Hara, said it’s also historic as it’s the first time the event will be held in the town.
“Limavady has been a bit out of the loop in terms of traditional Irish music and culture, so this is a great opportunity for people to reconnect with what is a shared heritage.
“Limavady is such a historic town, so having the Fleadh here was a natural step,” said Mr. O’Hara, who believes there could be up to 3,000 visitors to the town over the four days.
Music will be pouring out of venues throughout the town, from Thursday, May 25 until Sunday, May 28th, played by competitors from all over Ireland, including the Roe Valley, Derry city and County Derry. In all, there are more than 90 competitions. There will also be open air music venues, including Market Street and Drumceatt Square on Saturday.
Mr. O’Hara said the packed schedule of events will provide a fantastic boost for the town.
“We’re incredibly excited that, at long last, Limavady will be hosting the County Derry Fleadh, a festival which has the potential to bring a lot of positive benefits for the town, and will give all of us the chance to experience the very best of traditional Irish music and culture, right on our own doorstep. The Fleadh will also offer the people of Limavady the chance to showcase what a vibrant and energetic place the town is, not just in terms of arts and culture, but also as a unique place to shop, socialise, and visit,” said Mr. O’Hara.
He added: “We think that the Fleadh in Limavady is even more ambitious than previous Fleadhs have been. Despite having a strong history, people in Limavady haven’t engaged as much with traditional Irish music and culture as in other parts of the county. After this weekend, we hope that will change and people will explore their heritage, that the Fleadh will have made them stand up and take notice.”
The Jimmy O’Hara Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Roe Valley, named after respected musician, the late Jimmy O’Hara from Glack, has organised the Fleadh. The programme for the Fleadh pays tribute to him, and features a picture of Jimmy playing the flute.