Young fleadh goers having their picture taken outside the Greville Arms.

Local hospitality sector delighted with fleadh ’23

This year’s fleadh was another roaring success for the hospitality sector and a number of pubs even ran out of supplies on Saturday night due to the volume of people in the town.

“The fleadh was a record week for the Greville Arms last year and this year was even better,” manager John Cochrane told the Westmeath Examiner.

Unlike last year, when there was a lull for two or three days after the opening Sunday, Mr Cochrane says that in the Greville and other bars and restaurants were busy throughout the week.

The queue to get into the Fleadh Village at the Greville Arms last Sunday evening.

“We found that we were very busy from Sunday to Sunday. The numbers were phenomenal and the people that came into the hotel were just fantastic to deal with. The fleadh was a great tourism boost for Mullingar with people coming from all over the country and internationally.

“Lots of people also said that they would love to come back to Mullingar, which is great.”

Mr Cochrane praised all those who helped make the event such a success, including the 1,000-plus fleadh volunteers and the members of Mullingar Tidy Towns.

“All of the volunteers deserve a special mention. People were also talking about how good the guards were with people, especially with children.”

Mr Cochrane also singled out his staff for their efforts over the past week and a bit. “We are so proud of our staff. We got so much positive feedback about them, how brilliant and helpful they were,” he said.

Liam Gilleran, president of the Westmeath branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, said his pub in Harbour Street and the other bars on the edges of the main streets did much better this year.

“The fleadh was a fantastic success, absolutely brilliant. If any pub didn’t do well, they should take a step back and look at themselves. A lot of the days during this fleadh if there were 20 more pubs in Mullingar, they would all have been full due to the sheer volume of people.

“Last year in our particular corner, we felt at times left out, which was probably to do with the layout of the town, but this year has been a rip roaring success.”

Mr Gilleran confirmed that a number of pubs had run out of certain drinks over the course of the week, including his own, due to the increase in crowds this year.

Full of praise for his staff who worked hard through the week making sure that customers were fed and watered, Mr Gilleran said the positive publicity generated by the successful hosting of the fleadh will be felt by businesses in the hospitality sector for years to come.

While he believes that he may not see another fleadh in Mullingar during his lifetime, many of the visitors he spoke would love to see it return to the town.

“From the soundbites I got from fleadh visitors, they would love to see it come back to Mullingar in the not too distant future.”

Berty Dunne, proprietor of the Annebrook House Hotel and the Guinness Store on Pearse Street, said: “Mullingar will be hard act to follow for Wexford.

“Where would you start with thanking and congratulating people from the council, guards, fire service, Order of Malta and, of course, the fleadh committee.

“There wasn’t a crisp bag on the ground thanks to Mullingar Tidy Towns. The place looked so well.”

Mr Dunne says that his businesses were busy all week, but the crowds on Saturday night will live long in the memory.

“Over 7,500 visited the Guinness Store on Saturday. That was phenomenal for the staff and security to cope with.

“I think the people of Mullingar did the fleadh and the town proud. I have been listening to people who have been at fleadhs all their lives and they say that this was the best fleadh ever.”