Mount Street at 4pm today.

Fleadh 2023 visitor numbers set to break all records

The organisers promised that this year's fleadh would be the biggest and best ever and they are on course to achieve their target with visitor numbers set to smash the 600,000 mark for the first time in the event's history.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner this afternoon, Fleadh Executive Committee (FEC) vice-chair Willie Penrose said that a record number of visitor have attended the first three days of this year's fleadh.

“We indicated a couple of weeks ago that it would be close to 600,000. Three days in we now feel that it will exceed the 600,000 mark, which means around €60m will be generated for the local economy.

FEC vice-chair Willie Penrose, second from right, selling a fleadh draw ticket to a member of the public. Also in the photo are Johnnie Penrose and Declan Leonard.

“The attendances are up between 55 to 60 per cent on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. It's phenomenal. We have some link to God because the weather is fantastic. We have a lot of priests and Alastair Graham praying for us, and the Bishop prayed for us last Sunday. We are thankful that God is reacting positively to our pleas!

“The weather is a big help. It's critical in the early part of the week, not so much on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We'd still like good weather but it's certainly not as critical for us.”

The record crowds have also led to many local businesses reporting that trade is well up on last year.

“It's being reported that economic activity is up between 45 and 50 per cent. We are delighted. A lot of people supported us and they are paying the dividends and reaping the benefits now.

“It is a tremendous achievement for a voluntary organisation. Just under 100 meetings have been held since last September. That's the reality.”