Castlecoote and Fuerty face the music!

2017 County Fleadh location confirmed

Rural Roscommon was given a huge boost recently as Athleague Comhaltas Ceoiltoiri was awarded the 2017 County Fleadh Cheoil, which will be hosted by Castlecoote and Fuerty next April. This is seen as a massive coup for rural Roscommon as The Fleadh has been staged in Elphin and Strokestown for the last number of years.

  The official announcement was made during the County Roscommon Comhaltas Ceoiltoiri Eireann AGM at the Percy French Hotel in Strokestown last Sunday and will see music and dance lovers descend on Castlecoote and Fuerty on Easter Sunday and Monday (April 17th and 18th) of next year.

  Chairman of the Castlecoote Fleadh Cheoil, PJ Naughton, was extremely pleased with the announcement.

  “It’s fair to say that we’re over the moon here! It’s been up in the north of the county and Comhaltas are delighted now that it’s coming to a rural area – they’ve wanted to try it in a rural area rather than a town,” he said.

  Mr. Naughton said a local committee was formed in conjunction with the Athleague Comhaltas Ceoiltoiri after it was decided that Castlecoote would be a suitable venue for the Fleadh.

  “I took over the pub (what is now PJ’s) four years ago and I was only here a few months and I thought this would be an ideal place to host a Fleadh, he said, before highlighting the fact that next year’s festival would be a joint venture for Castlecoote and Fuerty.

  “We intend on running a shuttle bus between the three pubs – PJ’s, Castlecoote Lodge and Dalton’s in Fuerty. This will be a united effort,” he concluded.

  Cllr. Orla Leyden, who has worked closely with the local committee said: “It’s good to get it to smaller villages and a great boost for south Roscommon in particular. It’s good for local children to get exposure to the dancing competitions too. The competitions will be held in the primary school and the community centre,” Orla said.

  She said the decision was a “huge boost” to the area and it was hoped that local authorities would be supportive of the festival. “I was involved in the application to the Athlone Municipal District. They’re meeting on the 10th of January and I’m very hopeful that they’ll be supportive.”

  Cllr. Leyden added that there would be plenty of entertainment across the entire weekend.

  “There will be music all weekend and the Fleadh will be starting after the Easter Parade in Roscommon town. There will be live music, dancing and singing on Sunday and Monday,” she said.

  Owner of Castlecoote Lodge and Cllr. Leyden’s mother, Mary Leyden, said: “Quite a lot of people come from the North of Ireland for example and we’re expecting plenty of people to visit next year. We’re opening up the field next door to us to accommodate visitors and we’ll have electricity, water and toilet facilities for them to avail of.”

  Preparations in Castlecoote and Fuerty will begin in earnest for what promises to be a busy Fleadh Cheoil weekend next April.