Fleadh bye laws will permit street performers to go on till midnight

Bye laws for Fleadh Cheoil 2022 were adopted unanimously by the Municipal District of Mullingar Kinnegad on Monday, with one exception – street performers can play until midnight, not 11pm as had previously been proposed.

Many of the councillors, as well as the fleadh organisers felt that 11pm was too restrictive and despite assurances that all street performers who were in keeping with the ethos of the fleadh would be allowed play for longer, the members insisted that the time be extended.

Most vocal was Cllr Bill Collentine, who argued that pubs will not be closing until midnight or 12.30am and people playing on the streets could not be expected to pack up at 11pm. He also objected to street performers being moved on after two hours in one spot, claiming that “it doesn’t make sense”.

David Jones, district manager for Mullingar Kinnegad, said that the restrictions were precautionary measures that would only be applied if a street performer was not keeping to the ethos of the fleadh or was hogging a spot for money-making purposes.

He said that the bye laws were “something to have in our back pocket if a particular incident arose”, but the exemptions allow for the full celebration of Irish music, song and dance. He added that fleadh committee members were satisfied with the exemptions.

The bye laws were adopted on the proposal of Cllr Denis Leonard, seconded by Cllr Collentine.