My Fleadh: Tomás Nally

How was your fleadh, were you busy?

“It was crazy busy, absolutely brilliant. It was one of the busiest weeks we’ve had in years and years. It reminded me of the old St Paddy’s days that were flat out busy but we had that seven days a week and more to be honest. I think everybody in the town was busy and kept going. It was a huge success. We were delighted.”

Did you get to see much of the music?

“We were lucky in that we had a few bands pop in here and do sessions either in store, outside, or under the canopy, so I got to see a little bit of music, but unfortunately you know when you’re working that comes first. We got proper breaks though and got and out to see bits of music, but most of it came here, which was great. We also had local musicians like Mick Foster, Moyra Fraser and Noel Battle play here, as well. We had a Swedish brass band too. It was brilliant to see all of them.”

How do you think Mullingar coped?

“I think it did absolutely great. It has the best infrastructure possible for an event like this. We have the train links to Sligo and to Dublin. We’ve the bus links. We’ve the C-link road. Everybody said it was so easy to get in and out of and people were coming from all the parts of the country. They said it was absolutely brilliant. I think infrastructure wise, Mullingar is second to none. I’ve been at lots of fleadhs but I’ve never got in and out of town as easy as Mullingar. It was just brilliant. Fair play to everybody who came up with the traffic management plan.”

What are your standout memories?

“Little things. We had the Swedish brass band come to do a set with us and then we had a couple of little kids coming back and saying our ice cream was the best they ever tasted. But the biggest thing, I suppose, was just the family atmosphere; people out in the streets, little kids enjoying themselves, kids busking and playing music, and just the feeling we’re a little bit back to normal and a little bit back to ourselves. Also, the Irish culture, it was phenomenal. I just thought there was a great sense of Irishness and recovery and a bit of hope for the future in the whole week. It was brilliant.”