By Kathleen Mullane

Well the County Fleadh kicked off here in Athea on Wednesday night with some “hilarious” story-telling with Frances Kennedy at the Top of the Town. All agreed it was “a laugh a minute” and thoroughly enjoyed, as was the traditional singing on Thursday night with Catherine Broderick. A great crowd gathered in the square for the official opening on Friday night and the wrenboys performances really added to the Fleadh atmosphere – the only “downside” was the “midges”!

From early on Saturday morning crowds started to converge on the village – children holding their whistles, concertinas, side-flutes, uileann pipes  – parents helping them with their harps, banjo’s and a lot more. Thankfully the weather was lovely which enabled the groups and céilí bands to get in some practise at the side of the hall, helped along by their teachers and mentors. It was great to see the volunteers in abundance, all allocated to their specific jobs, from stewarding to traffic control and a lot more – well done to them all. Of course food-tents, wagons and our own takeaways along with the pubs and shop were all kept very busy.

Saturday night mass was mostly “as Gaeilge” which was lovely, Fr. Duggan doing a great job with the language and of course the choir and the outstanding accordion playing with Domhnall de Barra really added to the mass. We don’t realise how many good singers and musicians we have in our midst.

Sunday again another busy day for all the competitors and isn’t it great to see so many young people involved in music – it will take them anywhere. The céilís on both nights attracted huge crowds of dancers. All visitors agreed that Athea had such great venues for the competitions – the Hall, the School, the Library and the Top of the Town. Sunday was a very blustery day, however, huge crowds attended. In all a very successful Fleadh and again well done to all who made it so.

The wedding took place on Saturday of Catherine O’Sullivan (daughter of Margaret and Johnny O’Sullivan, Knocknagorna) to Eugene Corrigan of Achill. The nuptial ceremony was performed by Canon Declan O’Connor. The maid of honour was Katie O’Connor and the bridesmaids were Joan Lane and Sandra Dunne. The best man was Ronan Kilbane and the groomsmen were Sean Corrigan and Bernard Briody. The flower girl was Sadie Mai O’Sullivan and the pageboy Conor Corrigan. Congrats to the newly weds and best wishes for their future happiness. All had a great day at the Devon Inn.

To all those sitting their Junior and Leaving Cert exams this week – the very best of luck to them all.

A lovely mass was celebrated on Wednesday night last for all the students in which they took part.