My Fleadh - Kim Darby talks trad music and dance
As part of our Fleadh coverage, the Westmeath Examiner got in touch with local people to discuss how they got on during the eight-day festival.
Here we talk to Kim Darby, who was part of Mullingar Shamrocks team that won the Four Hand Céilí dancing competition.
How was your Fleadh? Were you busy?
"I thoroughly enjoyed the Fleadh! I took the week off from my two jobs, I work with the HSE fulltime and teach Yoga, so I could really make the most of it and get to practice as much as possible," says Kim.
"The town was transformed, I've never seen anything like it. The effort that was put in by local businesses was just brilliant. It was lovely to see all the musical instruments and dance costumes in shop windows, it brought back a lot of memories of my own childhood."
Did you get to see much music?
"I can't get over the talent that this little country has. I honestly thought our music and dance culture was slowly disappearing but The Fleadh has definitely shown otherwise. I hope this will encourage others to go and learn a traditional Irish instrument or song or dance, it's definitely given me the urge to get more involved with the local trad community and Sharon Shannon (the highlight of the fleadh for me!) has motivated me to learn the accordion. I don't have to go too far as my mother plays so I've no excuse!"
How did Mullingar cope?
"Mullingar and it's people played an absolute blinder and I couldn't be prouder to be from such a wonderful town. The layout of all the events was perfect, everything within walking distance. Traffic wasn't an issue at all. I never felt uncomfortable or anywhere was overcrowded at any point."
What are you standout moments?
"The icing on the cake for me was the support and cheers we got in the Fleadh competition, we danced the best we've ever danced because of it."
For more from the My Fleadh series, see this week's edition of the Westmeath Examiner.