Lambegs drum up excitement at Fleadh
The hills were alive with the sound of thunderous drumming yesterday as Lambeg drums featured in for the first time in Ireland's biggest Irish music festival.
Traditionally associated with the Twelfth of July celebrations in Northern Ireland, they were included as part of the Fleadh Cheoil na Eireann, this year held in Cavan, in a bid to strengthen cross-border relations.
Event co-ordinator Dermot Mc Monagle said it is the first time the instruments had been heard at the annual event, which is marking its 60th anniversary.
He said: "Everything went down fine and everything was very good.
"There were two lambegs from the Orange Order and one from the Ancient Order of Hibernians - they brought up the rear of the parade. Everyone's feeling very good about it," he said.
"Cavan has never had so many people, the crowds must be double what they were last year."
The pageant last night was led by the Cullybackey Pipe Band.
Around 300,000 people are expected to visit Cavan for the festival which ends on Monday.
It is the second time the town has hosted the festival.
A total of 165 competitions in dancing and music began yesterday and will run throughout the weekend.
Some 240 individual events are scheduled to take place including All-Ireland musical and cultural competitions.
Organisers said preliminary figures showed that the number of visitors was up on last year.
Early yesterday 400 camping spots were already taken and a third site had to be opened two days ahead of schedule.