An Cathaoirleach, Westmeath County Council, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, with Rose of Tralee Rachel Duffy, members of the Fleadh Executive Committee, council officials and elected representatives at the ceremony on Monday evening.

Official Address of Recognition for Rose of Tralee and fleadh committee

“I want to, on your behalf, pay tribute to the chairperson of Westmeath Comhaltas, Joe Connaire, and by his side, people like Willie Penrose and Colette Glynn, and the entire membership of the fleadh committee, who provided sterling leadership and unrelenting commitment,” said an cathaoirleach, Westmeath County Council on Monday evening.

Cllr Aengus O’Rourke was addressing those who had gathered in the Atrium at Áras an Chontae, Mullingar, for a formal Civic Reception on Monday, where an official Address of Recognition was presented to the Fleadh Executive Committee 2022 and to Rachel Duffy, the Rose of Tralee 2022.

“It look cool heads and skillful planning to navigate through two cancellations and then to go for it earlier on this year as the country slowly emerged from a devastating pandemic – and not only going for it, but pulling off the best fleadh ever,” said Cllr O’Rourke.

“I want also to thank all the volunteers, without whom the amazing week-long festival would simply not have been possible.”

The cathaoirleach also thanked his councillor colleagues for “backing the event at every opportunity” and “providing the necessary funding to ensure we had an excellent event an event we can all be proud of”.

“And you can also be assured of our continued support into 2023 for next year’s fleadh,” he added.

He acknowledged the role of the council, led by Anne-Marie Corroon and Pauline Hussey, “who played a major part in ensuring the festival ran without a hitch”.

“Thank you to all concerned, but specifically this evening, the Mullingar Fleadh Executive Committee – thank you, sincerely, for your hard work and dedication, and I compliment all of you on the successful delivery of a complex event in trying circumstances, on the international stage. Thank you, go raibh maith agat.”

Cllr O’Rourke had earlier paid tribute to Rachel Duffy from Rosemount, the 2022 Rose of Tralee. He said: “The county of Westmeath was filled with pride when Rachel’s name was called out on that final night at the Dome in Tralee. Rachel performed so well, was so natural on stage, and all the way through, she was a wonderful ambassador for Westmeath.

“I also want to mention the people of Rosemount [that drew a little who-hoo from one person in the audience, followed by laughs from the others], who got behind you and supported you and travelled to Tralee, and I know, Rachel, you appreciated that support, and in your own words, it played an important part in your success.”

“We had a fantastic two nights in August, and everyone will treasure those memories for years to come, and the joys of the homecoming event at Rosemount GAA on the night of August 26.

“Thank you for being the wonderful ambassador you are and we wish you every success for the remainder of your reign and for the future.”