The fleadh committee did a lot for Mullingar and Westmeath, their chairperson Joe Connaire said at the civic reception in their honour last Monday.
The committee members are on board again for 2023, Joe said, and he, like them, is already putting the work in.
But he’s also looking forward to getting it finished: “People loved having the fleadh in this town, they want the fleadh in Mullingar, but unfortunately on the 14th of August 2023, the fleadh will be over, and we will be delighted – but we will see it through to the end, and as I said to a lot of people in the last couple of weeks, I will sing a song and do a dance on the gig rig the last night of the fleadh and I want you all to join in!”
Joe listed the individual members of the committee and outlined the extent of the work they had done to prepare and run what has been widely regarded as one of the best editions of the Fleadh Cheoil na Éireann.
He said that the huge numbers of comments praising the fleadh they had received meant “we definitely did something right” and “it was done properly because of the magnificent group of volunteers – people who gave their lives for six or seven years, meetings every Monday night, every Tuesday night, phone calls every day, every evening, thousands of emails”.
An estimated crowd of 10,000 were present for the official opening of the fleadh on the first Sunday, and that set the tone for the rest of the week, Joe said.
Before he concluded his remarks by looking to the last day of the 2023 fleadh, Joe had a word for the business community: “To everyone who sponsored us, from a local point of view, I would like to thank you, and to ask the businesses to get behind it [the fleadh] even more next year.
“There are a lot of businesses in this town that did not support Fleadh Cheoil na Éireann this year, and I’m not afraid to say it,” Joe said in a message he is determined to get out ahead of the 2023 fleadh.