Potential 2022 Fleadh bid at a ‘highly sensitive’ stage says Derry Comhaltas

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The process of bidding to bring the Fleadh back is at a ‘highly sensitive’ stage, says the chair of the Baile na gCailleach branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ).

Brendan Molloy confirmed this week that the Galliagh Comhaltas branch was likely to formally bid to bring the Fleadh back to the city in 2022.

“We are indeed in the process of preparing a bid for submission to the Ulster Council of CCÉ, however, this is still a highly sensitive time for us as a branch because it is not yet confirmed if there will be other bids from the province going forward and we also wish to respect the fact that Mullingar should be enjoying their time in the limelight as hosts for 2020.

“We had hoped for this news to be made public by ourselves at a slightly later stage because we presently must focus on delivering a wonderful Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire in May next year,” said Mr. Molloy, in a statement.

The potential bid was discussed during confidential business at the November meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee this week.

A spokesperson for DC&SDC said that Council has received a proposal from a local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann (CCE) seeking Council support in bidding for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to be held in the City in 2022.

“The matter was discussed confidentially at a meeting of the Business and Culture Committee this week, respecting the commercially sensitive nature of the plans at this stage.

“As with all proposals brought before Council members, the proposal will be scoped out and given due consideration in terms of cost, resources and value to the local economy, before a full report is brought before a future meeting of Council for approval,” the spokesperson confirmed.

Mr. Molloy, in his statement, said: “We are delighted to say that we have been working with representatives from DCSDC and all political parties locally over the past 18 months and hope that when the time comes, we will be able to appeal for the whole City to get behind us in our bid.”

The All-Ireland Fleadh in 2013 was considered a great success yet Derry only got one crack at it, which was the first time that had happened since Kilkenny was host for just one year in 1988. The Fleadh has not been back in Ulster since and is likely to be held in Mullingar in both 2020 and 2021. This would seem to augur well for a return to the province after 2021. Other areas are already interested. Last month Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Council voted to engage with “all relevant stakeholders with the aim of working on a submission to bring the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil to the ancient city of Armagh in the year 2022 or next available year thereafter”.