Search on for 1,500 volunteers to help at All Ireland Fleadh
A rallying call has gone out for a small army of volunteers to make the All Ireland Fleadh a success when Londonderry become the first city in Northern Ireland to host it.
An estimated 1,500 volunteers will be needed to assist with stewarding, competitions and act as ambassadors during the week long festivities when some 300,000 people visit the city.
The Fleadh is the largest celebration of Irish traditional culture in the world and 2013 will be the first time the 60 year old event has come north of the border.
Ann-Marie Gallagher from the Derry Comhaltas hosts said the search for volunteers is huge so it needs to begin now.
She added: “People might think this is a bit premature to make a call for volunteers now but it will take a lot of time to recruit the 1,500 we will need.
“There were legions of volunteers behind the Olympics and they were central to making that a success and that is what we want for Derry. No offer of help will be refused but we do need people to be at least 16 years of age but there is no upper age limit.
“A number of volunteers follow the Fleadh which is great but we need people with local knowledge and passion about the city so that visitors get to see all that is great about Derry.
“We would love older people to get involved too and we particularly want to hear from Irish speakers.”
The Fleadh runs from August 12-18 next year and will generate millions of pounds for the local economy.
Joyce Louge has been tasked with co-ordinating the volunteers.
“This is the biggest opportunity Derry has had to showcase what’s great about our City to the world and we need local people to put their shoulder to the wheel and help us,” she said.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and we would encourage anyone who can give their time to register their interest and we can begin training soon.”