It is “vitally important” that the business community in the Mullingar area supports the Fleadh organizing committee through sponsorships, according to its chairman.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s announcement that the government had allocated €100,000 towards running costs for the fleadh, organizing committee chairman Joe Connaire said he hoped the business community would ‘support’ their efforts and provide financial support.
“It’s vitally important. We bring this event into the local economy to create business and tourism in the future. Together with Westmeath County Council, we look at the big picture here. I hope they support us in any way, shape or form possible,” he said.
As part of its fundraising efforts, the committee is set to launch a car raffle in the coming weeks. Joe says tickets will be full price €20 for one and three for €50.
Mullingar was due to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2020 and 2021, but both years were canceled due to the pandemic. After being absent for the past two years, Joe is confident that this year’s edition of the world’s largest traditional music festival will break previous attendance records.
“Basically the fleadh family that comes year after year, it’s their vacation every year. People have been missing for two years.
“In addition, the 25% of foreign visitors who come from abroad are also missed. At all stages, we have been in contact with people from North America, Argentina, Japan and all these places. They say they can’ “I’m not waiting for the fleadh at Mullingar and let them all come. I have no doubt that the fleadh will be bigger than previous years because of the restrictions we have had to endure over the past two years,” he said.
Although they need a large group of volunteers to keep things running smoothly, as well as local households to provide accommodation, he says the committee has spent the past two years preparing for the event.
“As a committee, we worked from when the fleadh was canceled in 2020 until now to make sure we were ready when we got the green light. We planned the big event and never off the gas,” he said.