Congratulations to Yvonne O’Brien, Templeathea, daughter of Tom and Joan, who graduated from the University of Westminster with an honours dergee in Journalism

No Venue for County Fleadh Cheoil

 The local branch of Comhaltas has received a letter from the County Board stating that, since there was no application from any branch to host the 2013 fleadh, the festival as we know it will not take place this year. This is a pity as the Limerick Fleadh has been the model for other counties and has led the way by introducing a detailed fleadh programme and extending the festival to six days.

Athea has had a long association with the fleadh and was the first venue to extend beyond the three days and add extra articles to the programme. We even ran a Munster Fleadh in the mid-seventies. We were asked at a meeting to consider hosting the  fleadh this year but we had to explain that we just do not have the facilities, especially since The Gables has closed down and the numbers competing have risen in recent years. For the past two years the fleadh was held in UL, Hospital (twice) and  Newcastle West. These all had the use of  big college facilities and could cater for any amount of competitors. The one in Newcastle West was run by Craobh Cluain Creadail from the Killeedy area and branches have been requested to use the facilities available in a nearby big town: e.g. Athea or Ardagh run it in Newcastle West. This defeats the whole spirit of the Fleadh that brought music and much needed revenue to rural villages and small towns. It would be extremely difficult to motivate people from Athea  to raise funds for a fleadh in Newcastle or Abbeyfeale.

There is a meeting arranged by the County Board for January 30th to further discuss the matter and we’ll see where we go from there.