Missed an earlier news item? Visit the news archive.


What Castlebar needed was a Good Festival and they certainly got one with The World Fleadh this Summer!

Castlebar town said Goodbye to The World Fleadh on Saturday night and what a show it was. Martina Mc Bride was simply excellent, from her first song God Fearing Women thru all her hits including Rose Garden and Broken Wing she had the audience captivated.

>From the first day of the Fleadh with the Saw Doctors opening up in the Royal Theatre on Friday 31st July the Fleadh continued to gain momentum. Heidi Talbot and John Mc Cusker in the Linenhall opened to a great crowd and suited the Venue brilliantly. The Féile on the Mall on Saturday 1st August brought out the crowds to the streets to enjoy the Food Stalls while the younger ones enjoyed the Formula 1 Racing and all while the live Bands on stage in the mall kept everyone entertained.

The Ceilis received great crowds from all over, with the Johnny Reilly Ceili Band receiving so many calls in advance that it had to be moved to St Mary’s Hall in the GMIT. One Lady Maura Kilbride from Monaghan came down for the three nights of the Ceilis and then went to see Crooked Still in the Linenhall Theatre. She said she was blown away by the performance. The audience was stuck to their seats in anticipation of their next song. “We had such a great time in Castlebar, everything was so close together and there was a great buzz about the town on Saturday, the Matt Cunningham Ceili on Sunday afternoon was great craic and I look forward to going again next year. We went to four shows this year so its well worth the drive”

“The Linenhall Arts Centre is delighted to be associated with The World Fleadh. It’s a great Festival, bringing some of the world’s finest musicians to Castlebar and we look forward to being part of it again next year”. Marie Farrell Director Linenhall Arts Centre

This is a new event to the town in an attempt to create a destination town and there is greater support needed from Castlebar people to help this and other ventures take off. Some of the Bars around the town had live music including The Irish House, Bungalow, Mulroys, Bosh, Castle Inn, and Mick Byrnes and the Dave Munnelly Band went down a storm in the Bars they played in, but there are a lot more bars in Castlebar and businesses that could have

The World Fleadh Coming to Castlebar was just what the town needed, there are many other events in other towns but Castlebar always missed out on a Summer Festival, with such great Venues as The Royal Theatre and Linenhall Theatre Castlebar is truly the town for live entertainment in the West.

“Pat Jennings and Eric Cunningham are to be complimented for the efforts that they made in bringing the World Fleadh to Castlebar for the first time this summer. By all accounts the occasions proved to be an outstanding success.

Occasions like this however only become really successful when full participation is had from local communities and local business.    The additional entertainment provided on the Mall at the weekend added greatly to its success.    It would be my hope that this success can be built on next year in the event that the World Fleadh comes again to Castlebar.”

Enda Kenny, T.D., Leader of Fine Gael

The team behind the Marketing of the World Fleadh said the local papers gave them great exposure for the shows but it was a pity that the Council wouldn’t allow bunting to go up in the town. This along will no funding from the Council or Failte Ireland certainly put a strain on the advertising and marketing that could take place. The Fleadh was good for the town, shops were busier, Bars were busier and business was up and it’s a shame that there wasn’t more support from local authorities.

When the World Fleadh left Portlaoise this year for Castlebar it was a huge blow to the town and Castlebar is very lucky to be considered the host town for the World Fleadh that brought in huge acts like Hal Ketchum, Randy Travis, Mary Black, Delores Keane and renowned fiddle player Frankie Gavin.

Pat Jennings of the Royal Theatre commented “The Fleadh was a huge success considering this is the first year of it in Castlebar and the lack of aid that was given to us to market the event nationally……we hope that publicans, and business people in general realise what The World Fleadh can do for Castlebar and come with more positive support of it for next year”

The World Fleadh was also an occasion to recognise some of the Greatest Talented musicians in Ireland and Abroad. Margo received the Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Country Music Awards and George Jones received the Hall of Fame Award, this is the only awards event in Ireland that recognises the work of Country Music Stars.

Irelands Music Awards also took place in the Royal Theatre on Saturday 1st August where The High Kings came away with an Awards for “Best Newcomer” and “Best Folk Group” and Brian Kennedy picked up an award for “Best Male Vocalist”

“Ireland has such amazing country folk and Trad musicians and it was a great chance to showcase their talent and celebrate them for what they did” Eric Cunningham The World Fleadh Director

Castlebar saw some great shows such as Cherish the Ladies, Eddi Reader, Dave Munnelly, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan including Mary Black and Dolores Keane, Martina Mc Bride and Randy Travis…it would be impossible to say which one was the best but the only thing left to look at is how we can better it again for next year!!!

For Details on upcoming Events in Castlebar log <>  and <>

For more information, contact:
Sandra Hunt, Marketing Team, The Royal Castlebar Theatre and Event Centre; 094 90 23111
Donnacha Roche, Venue & Operations Manager, The Royal Castlebar Theatre and Event Centre; 094 90 23111

Permalink - Posted: August 13, 2009 at 11:38 am