Castletown ready for fleadh
There are parishes across Westmeath in which there’s hardly a youngster who can’t knock out a tune on a tin whistle, a banjo, an accordion or a fiddle.
And if you want to see just how talented the traditional musicians of Westmeath are, then head to Castletown this weekend for the county fleadh.
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is growing hugely in Westmeath.
Recent years have seen several new branches formed – and the organisation is now active in Ballymore, Ballynacargy, Castletown-Geoghegan, Moate and Mullingar.
There’s also the Clan Lir branch in north Westmeath, and the Frank Gavigan branch in Castletown.
It’s because the branches make teaching a priority that so many youngsters are taking up trad.
Castletown-Geoghegan was chosen to host the Westmeath fleadh for 2015, as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the revival of the branch.
For six months now, the organising committee has been working on the detail for this weekend, and all is set for a fleadh to remember.
The fleadh opened on Thursday in Middleton Park House. After the opening, the launch took place of a CD, ‘The Bucks of Westmeath’, which features music by the Westmeath CCÉ Youth Group.
Friday the set dancing and céilí dancing competitions take place at St Michael’s Hall from 7pm.
Later, at 10pm, the Fleadh Session Trail starts at The Drake Inn.
Sean nós dancing is enjoying a huge revival, and on Saturday, the sean nós dancing competitions take place at St Michael’s Hall at 7pm.
The venue for the Fleadh Session Trail is Brennan’s at 10pm.
At 10am, the Fleadh Mass takes place at St Michael’s Church.
From 1pm, at St Michael’s National School, there are music, singing and comhrá Gaeilge competitions.
Davy Joe and Carousel and guests will provide live music on the outside stage beside Claffey’s Shop from 3pm.
And it doesn’t end there, as from 6-8pm at The Parochial House, a live broadcast of the Midlands 103 show Coppers and Brass takes place.
The weekend’s activities comes to a close on Sunday night, and the farewell fleadh session trail begins at Ned Claffey’s at 9pm.
Updates are on Facebook.
Photos from the opening here.