The All Ireland Fleadh will bring a “tsunami” of trade for local business owners, according to business leaders in Cavan who are hosting this year’s event.
A delegation from the Cavan Chamber of Commerce visited Derry to speak to the local business community about the money making opportunities the fleadh will present.
Speaking at an event in the Tower Hotel organised by the business committee of the local Fleadh Cheoil na h’Éireann organising group, Jim Burke, president of the Cavan Chamber said that while bars and restaurants will benefit most from the fleadh, opportunities exist for all local businesses if they are prepared.
He said that the last year’s fleadh injected almost £40 million into the economy in Cavan and they are expecting a similar return with this year’s event, which will be held in August.
Mr Burke said: “All types of businesses can do well out of the fleadh. Pubs in the city centre are going to do exceptionally well. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday won’t be that busy but by Thursday it will be like a tsunami of people and that will continue on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” he said.
Ross Melaiff from Cavan also said that Derry businesses can expect to see a massive spike in trade during the fleadh. “I spoke to one publican and he took a year and a half’s takings in one week during the fleadh last year. People do not realise the volume of business the fleadh brings to a town,” he said.
Eamon Dwyer encouraged Derry traders to follow the example of their counterparts in Cavan and think creatively about how to make the most of the potential offered by the fleadh. “We had a clothing shop which was turned into a confectionary shop for the week and a lingerie shop which was turned into a cafe,” he said.
He also cautioned Derry traders against putting prices up during the fleadh and encouraged local retailers to establish uniform prices.
City Centre Initiative boss Jim Roddy said: “It is vitally important that we listen to the experience of Cavan so we can maximise our opportunities.
Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin, who attended the meeting, said; “The meeting with the Cavan representatives gave a very clear insight into what Derry and the North West region can expect next summer. The Fleadh injected in the region of £40 million to the economy of Cavan - a staggering figure which with proper planning can be exceeded in Derry.
“We need to do everything possible to ensure that we harness all of this potential so that we don’t end up with a series of one-off events but that we create a legacy of successful and memorable projects that will become part of annual attractions for repeat visits by tourists and a mainstay for indigenous business.”