Homeowners in the Ardee and Mid-Louth area are being asked to declare their interest in making their homes available for accommodation during next year’s Fleadh Festival in Drogheda.
Taking place from Sunday August 12th to Sunday August 19th next year, Drogheda will play host to the annual event – the world’s biggest festival of Irish music, song and dance no less – the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. In 2017, 450,000 people descended on Ennis for the week long event.
Hosting the Fleadh will be a mammoth undertaking and organisers say accomodation for visitors, musicians, singers, dancders and their families will have to spread far beyond Drogheda town and it’s immediate environs. They want people – as far away as North Dublin, Navan, Ardee and Dundalk – interested in providing accommodation to get in touch.
“We expect a lot of day trippers from Dublin and Belfast, but we will also fill the hotels not only in the town but as far afield as North Dublin, Navan and Dundalk,” Padraic Kierans from the Fleadh Executive Committee said.
“There is a tradition of camping at the Fleadh and we will be setting up a fully serviced campground in Drogheda which will match or exceed the excellent camping facilities provided in Ennis for 2017,” added Eddie Phelan, Chair of the Accommodation Committee.
However, organisers say the most important accommodation provision for the festival comes from private rented accommodation. “In Drogheda and the surrounding area, we are confident that the locals will respond and take this chance to engage with the Fleadh – and it is a great way to get involved and to earn some money in the process!” Phelan added.
They say that from very early Fleadhs in Listowel in the 1950s,local communities have opened their doors to visitors from near and far. This has grown to a major logistical challenge for hosting towns, with 400-500 houses or rooms in houses needed in total.
On Tuesday morning, the Fleadh Accommodation Committee launched their campaign to encourage Louth homeowners to open up their homes and be part of the Fleadh. In Ennis the 2017 Fleadh required 400 houses and weekly rental varied from €750 to €950 depending on the size and location of the house. In addition many people rented out one or more rooms in their house to the visitors.
“People in the host town who are interested in renting their room or house can register with the accommodation committee. After a quick assessment the property is included on a list on the Fleadh website and the visitor will either make direct contact with the owner from the list or make contact through the accommodation committee” Lolo Robinson, Chairperson of Drogheda Comhaltas said.
“We already have lots of queries from all over the world and are confident that Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda is going to be a fantastic event for our visitors and for the local community.”
To register your interest in letting out all or part of your property for the week of the Fleadh in August 2018 you can, contact the accommodation committee via e-mail [email protected] or download the form through the Fleadh Facebook page or Drogheda Comhaltas website.
The completed form can be returned by e-mail to [email protected] or by post to 13 Ashdale, Wheaton Hall, Drogheda. Alternatively, you can drop it into the reception of the Westcourt Hotel, West Street, Drogheda.
The news earlier this year that the Fleadh was coming to Drogheda in 2018 was met with delight in the town and county-wide, coming at the end of a five-year campaign to attract organisers to the Boyne. Organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, it will be hosted in conjunction with Louth County Council and Drogheda Comhaltas.
The announcement led local Ardee councillor Jim Tenanty to suggest that Ardee and other areas in Mid-Louth such as Collon could benefit from the festival spreading it’s wings beyond just Drogheda. He told ThisIsArdee.ie that mid-Louth towns could possibly run events in conjunction with the Fleadh.
It is estimated the Fleadh Cheoil is worth around €40 million to the local economy every year.