Final big push to win Fleadh for Mullingar

Final big push to win Fleadh for Mullingar

A number of crucial dates occur between now and mid March for Mullingar’s bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2020 and 2021.

The decision is due on March 9, but in the run up to that, February 23 sees the visit of members of the Ard Comhairle to Mullingar, and prior to that, an important meeting setting out what the town needs to do to give the effort that final – and hopefully effective – push, takes place at 6.30pm on Thursday February 7, at The Greville Arms Hotel.

“We want as many people as possible to come – members of the public, businesses, residents. Everyone,” says Deputy Willie Penrose, who is on the Fleadh bid team.

“We’ll update people on the current status of the Fleadh bid and on the necessary preparations that are required now to try and get the application over the line, so everyone should make a big effort to attend.”

Much will hinge on the February 23 visit of the Ard Comhairle members and the eight-strong standing committee to Mullingar, to gauge how the town would handle such a major event, and to gauge the level of interest that exists locally, particularly among the business community.

“They will be in town all day, and we had a magnificent response from businesses and members of the community the last day, and we’ll even have to magnify that response,” says Deputy Penrose.

“They’ll be looking at the infrastructure, and looking at various things and then meeting down at The Atrium as well.

“They then do a full detailed report; bring it back to the Ard Comhairle and of course the most important meeting is on March 9 at the Cultúrlann, the Comhaltas headquarters. That’s the final meeting; that’s where the final decision is reached, and the announcement will be made at that meeting.

“We need a massive push; a big effort will have to be made. We need everyone on board, united behind what has been a very strong bid. 

“We’re confident that with one big final push we can win the day,” he says, explaining that when people make the effort, it can have a big impact, such as during the visit of the Leinster delegates, when a local baker turned up with a bodhrán-style cake.

“Some of the delegates that I know very well said: ‘Willie: you set this up!’ And I said we didn’t set it up; that it was spontaneous.”

If the decision comes Mullingar’s way; there’ll be an immense amount of work and preparation ahead with just over a year to get everything set for the Fleadh. 

The committee behind the bid believes that if the town gets to host it for the two years, it will provide a €50m boost to the economy in each of those years.

 

Chantelle Doyle (in white) from Deborah’s Cakes made a cake decorated like a bodhrán for the visit of the Leinster delegates in November, which was much appreciated by, from left, Fleadh bid committee members Joe Connaire and Deputy Willie Penrose and Mullingar mayor, Cllr Bill Collentine, along with Mary Whelan, Leinster CCÉ delegate and Ard Comhairle member (centre), and Anne Finnegan, Meath, former president, CCÉ (right).

 

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