Delight as 2020 Leinster Fleadh to play out in Swords

by Sylvia Pownall

Swords has been chosen to host the 2020 Leinster Fleadh, which could pave the way for the All-Ireland festival to be held in the capital of the north county.

The week-long trad music event will take place in July and is expected to generate millions of euro in revenue for the town.

The All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil is the biggest music festival in the country, attracting up to 400,000 visitors with an estimated €40 million windfall for local businesses.

Welcoming the news, the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) said: “The Fingal Fleadh which took place in Swords over the weekend showed just how strong the interest in Irish music and culture is in Fingal.

“Hosting the Leinster Fleadh is the natural next step and we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over Leinster and beyond to Fingal in 2020.”

The week-long Leinster trad-fest will include special celebrations to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the formation of Comhairle Laighean and the hosting of the first ever Leinster Fleadh in 1960.

The Dublin County Board of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and Fingal County Council say if it proves successful, they will then bid for the All-Ireland fleadh.

This year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, which is deemed the world’s largest festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance, was held for the first time in Drogheda, where businesses reported bumper trade figures.

Mary Whelan, Cathaoirleach of the Dublin County Board, CCE, said: “To be given the task of hosting the Leinster Fleadh during the 60th anniversary year of Comhairle Laighean is a huge honour.

“We are looking forward to working with Fingal County Council to make it an event to remember. If we can do that successfully, then we will definitely look to bring Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann to Swords in the future.”

The €26 million Swords Cultural Quarter project is due for completion in 2020 and the plaza would provide an ideal venue for music, with the castle as a backdrop.

Paul Reid, chief executive of Fingal County Council, said: “We have a lot of experience in staging major events in Swords.

“Hosting the Leinster Fleadh will give us the perfect opportunity to show the town’s potential as a possible host of the All-Ireland Fleadh.”

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