Clare County Council has expressed its “extreme disappointment” at today’s (Saturday, 26 January 2013) announcement by the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann of its decision to name Sligo as the host venue for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in 2014.
Having been unsuccessful in its effort to host the prestigious annual event in both 2012 and 2013, Ennis has once again narrowly missed out in its bid to secure the event which would have attracted an estimated 300,000 visitors to the town.
Mayor of Clare, Councillor Pat Daly commented: “The Working Group established to bring the event to Ennis has been working tirelessly over the past two and a half years. This decision comes as a huge disappointment to everyone concerned as we firmly believed that Ennis would go one step further this year to secure the right to host the 2014 event. We put together a very strong argument as to why Ennis, arguably one of the best known traditional Irish music centres in the world, would be a worthy host location but voting amongst Comhairle delegates has ultimately not gone in our favour for a third successive year. While, everybody involved is very disappointed with the decision of the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, I would like to wish Sligo every success in 2014.”
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Peter Considine added: “The potential economic spin-offs for Ennis and County Clare as a result of hosting the event would have been considerable, hence the substantial time and effort that has been invested by many organisations and individuals across Clare to bring the event here. Ennis has not hosted the event since 1977 and I firmly believe that the awarding of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to the town is long overdue, especially considering the fact that the town has and continues to host a range of culture and arts festivals that are of national and international renown, including the Fleadh Nua and the annual Ennis Trad Festival. Everybody concerned is understandably very disappointed, and this decision does not in any way diminish the unrivalled contribution of traditional Irish music artists and groups throughout Clare over the years to preserving and promoting a unique part of Irish culture and heritage.”
Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan said that Clare Local Authorities’, which were centrally involved in the submission process, shared the disappointment felt by all members of the Working Group.
“I want to acknowledge the members of the Working Group for their efforts and commitment to securing this event for Ennis during the past year. Clare Local Authorities wish Sligo every success with the hosting of the 2014 Fleadh. We remain fully committed to working with all local interests and agencies to further enhancing and promoting the town and County’s reputation as a thriving centre for traditional arts,” Mr. Coughlan concluded.