Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 30 August 2015

Year of firsts for the Fleadh

BY DONNA DEENEY

Published 14/08/2013

Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland.  Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 14h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Six years-old Bronagh Carlin dances as cousins Sinead Carlin (10), Niamh Carlin (14), Corrine Gorman (15) and Aoibheann Carlin (14), members of the Derry Comhaltas performing on steps at the Guildhall. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Pipers lead the Sli Cholmcille/Way of Colmcille walk through Magazine Gate in Derry during the Fleadh. The parade was a performance relating to the story of the city's Patron Saint which started at the Guildhall and finished at Long Tower. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.08.13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Young musicians draw a crowd in Derry sGuildhall Square as theAll Ireland Fleadh continues this weekend. Picture Martin mcKeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.13
Showman "Emil" floats over Guildhall Square in Derry as the spectacle of the Fleadh continues in the city this weekend. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.13
Joyce Connolly and Dylan McDermott from Streamstown, rehearse for their under 12 All Ireland Set dancing championship at St. coulombs College in Derry during this weeks Fleadh. Picture Martin mckeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.13
One of the traditional musicians performs in Derry;s Shipquay Street during this weekends Fleadh. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.13
Joyce Connolly and Dylan McDermott from Streamstown, rehearse for their under 12 All Ireland Set dancing championship at St. coulombs College in Derry during this weeks Fleadh. Picture Martin mckeown. Inpresspics.com. 16.08.13
Fleadh visitors watch a performnace on the open air stage in Victoria Market despite the rain. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 15.08.13
Young harpists from Inishowen who performed on the outdoor stage in Victoria Market on thursday as part of the Fleadh. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 15.08.13
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Novia Scotia Kitchen Concert held in the Glassworks. Michelle Curran (Derry) Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Hidden Fermanagh Concert held in the Glassworks. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Cara Dillon accompanied by the Orchestra of Ireland in the Millennium Forum. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Cara Dillon accompanied by the Orchestra of Ireland in the Millennium Forum. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Cara Dillon accompanied by the Orchestra of Ireland in the Millennium Forum. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Hidden Fermanagh Concert held in the Glassworks. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Hidden Fermanagh Concert held in the Glassworks. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Hidden Fermanagh Concert held in the Glassworks. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Novia Scotia Kitchen Concert held in the Glassworks. Andrea Beaton (Cape Breton). Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Mary Dillon and band, Peter Doherty, Niamh Simpson and Paul McSharry performing at Imirce: Song of Emigration concert in The Playhouse. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. Nodlaig and Aine Og Brolly. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. Anne and Francie Brolly performing after Anne received her award. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. John Burke, from Coventry. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. Brendan Molloy, County Derry chairperson, Comhaltas, performing on stage, with his daughters Mirian and Siobhan, after receiving his award. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Students participating in classes at Scoil Éigse. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Students participating in the banjo class with Kieran Hanrahan at Scoil Éigse. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Matt MacIssac and Andrea Beaton from Cape Breton. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Andrea Beaton and Matt MacIssac from Cape Breton. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Sean Og Graham (Portglenone) and Liz Carroll (Chicago). Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Tim Eriksen, from New England, USA. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Liz Carroll (Chicago) and Sean Og Graham (Portglenone). Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Liz Carroll (Chicago), Trevor Hutchinson and Sean Og Graham (Portglenone). Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. John and Carmel Burke, from Coventry, are joined on stage by Siobhan Ni Chonarain after they received their award. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. Vince Jordan, President, Comhaltas, and Labhrás Ó Murchu, Director General, Comhaltas, presenting the award to Margie Mulvihill, from USA. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 14h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. The Campbell of Greepe performing at the Highlands and Islands Concert in the Guildhall. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. All the artists at the finale of Imirce: Song of Emigration concert in The Playhouse. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 13h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Ceannródái Awards and Concert. Miriam Molloy. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Students participating in classes at Scoil Éigse. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Across the Atlantic Concert in the Guildhall. Tim Eriksen, from New England, USA. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
Sean Watters from Co-Louth with Cooley Watters on the streets - Friday Fleadh Cheoil scenes on the streets. Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin © please by-line 16-8-13
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Cara Dillon accompanied by the Orchestra of Ireland in the Millennium Forum. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Novia Scotia Kitchen Concert held in the Glassworks. Troy McGillivray (Nova Scotia). Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Novia Scotia Kitchen Concert held in the Glassworks. Matt Mac Issac (Cape Breton) and Jim Woods (Donegal). Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Students participating in classes at Scoil Éigse. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 15h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Dinny McLaughlin playing at the launch of his album launch Ark of Tides. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
©/Lorcan Doherty Photography - 14h August 2013. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Piper & Poet Seamus Heaney and Liam O'Flynn in the Millenniu Forum. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Rose of Tralee contestants on a tour of the Walls of Derry during their visit to the city as part of the Fleadh Cheoil celebrations. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Rose of Tralee contestants on a tour of the Walls of Derry during their visit to the city as part of the Fleadh Cheoil celebrations. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Rose of Tralee contestants on a tour of the Walls of Derry during their visit to the city as part of the Fleadh Cheoil celebrations. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Two pipers led a procession of monks who took part in the Sli Cholmcille/Way of Colmcille walk through Derry during the Fleadh. The parade was a performance relating to the story of the city's Patron Saint which started at the Guildhall and finished at Long Tower. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Pat Power from the Stone Mad Ceili band who brought his backing group of puppets to Derry's Guildhall Square during this weeks Fleadh. Picture Martin Mckeown. Inpresspics.com.
Ciara Murphy who was one of the young muscians who gave an impromptu performance in Guildhall Square during this weeks Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin MvKeown. Inpresspics.com.
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Eilis Murphy who was one of the young musicians who gave an impromptu performance in Guildhall Square during this weeks Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Máirtín Ó Cathasaigh pictured during one of the workshops for young people in St. Columb's Hall as part of the Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.
NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers listens to the Uilleann Pipes class at the Scoil Eigse traditional music school as part of the Derry Fleadh earlier today (Monday). Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Joanna Clare from New York pictured during one of the workshops for young people in St. Columb's Hall as part of the Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.
Grace Doolan, Sinead Nic Charthaigh and Muireann McHugh perform on Derry's wall on Monday during the Fleadh Cheoil NA hEireann.. Picture Martin McKeown.
Hope Barron plays during the Fleadh Cheoil NA hEireann in Derry this week. Picture Martin McKeown.
Proinnsias Ó Cathasaigh from Lispole, Kerry, pictured during one of the workshops for young people in St. Columb's Hall as part of the Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.
Thirteen years old Gillian Kroll from New York who performed during one of the workshops for young people as part of the Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.
Aine Fitzgerald who is one of the young harpists during the Fleadh Cheoil NA hEireann in Derry this week. Picture Martin McKeown.
Cayden and Alena Rooney from Chicago who took part one of the workshops for young people in St. Columb's Hall as part of the Fleadh in Derry. Picture Martin McKeown.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann - Doire '13. Irish and Contemporary Dance Workshop conducted by Fidget Feet. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers gets a tour of Derry's recently refurbished Guild Hall as she visited the Derry Fleadh earlier today (Monday). Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
NI Secretary of State Theresa Villiers visits the Scoil Eigse traditional music school as part of the Derry Fleadh earlier today (Monday). Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Zara Montgomery on stage. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Official opening of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
Official opening of the annual All Ireland Fleadh. Irish president Michael D. Higgins, and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 11th August 2013 Picture by Lorcan Doherty / Press Eye Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann Doire 2013. Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh.
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
The High King, Philip McFadden and High Priestess, Audrey Doherty make their way through Castle Gate in Derry on sunday as the Fleadh got underway. Picture: Martin Mckeown
Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
Megan Richards and Rhia Miller who enjoyed the first day of the Fleadh in Derry
Ciara McCafferty, who was one of the musicans playing in the city centre bars on Sunday as the Fleadh got underway in Derry
President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins listens to members of Chomaltas performing at the opening ceremony
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and wife Sabina officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Ancient Music Ireland members play the Iron Age Loch Na Séad trumpets to announce the opening of the Fleadh Cheoil Na Éireann
Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
President of IReland Michael D. Higgins, and Mrs. Sabina Higgins, with from left, Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin, John Kelpie, Derry City Council, Eibhlin Ni Dochartaigh, chairperson, Derry Fleadh
Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
Opening parade of the annual All Ireland Fleadh
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Derry hosts Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, the first time in the traditional music festival's history that it has travelled to the North of Ireland. President of Ireland Michael D Higgins officially opens the event in Derry's Guildhall Square on Sunday. The Colmcille Curragh arrives on the River Foyle. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Flags flying on Strand Road to celebrate the Fleadh.

The man who championed an All-Ireland Fleadh coming to Northern Ireland said it has "raised the bar to new heights" with Londonderry now well-placed to host the massive musical event again.

The strong representation of unionist culture and the appearance of Irish President Michael D Higgins at the launch have also set new standards for organising body Comhaltas, its director has said.

Two unique events – Jonathan Burgess' play The Pride, about life as a member of a loyalist flute band, and an evensong in St Columb's Church of Ireland Cathedral – were both filled to capacity on Monday night.

All this bodes well for future applications to host the fleadh by the Derry Comhaltas, according to the organisation's director-general, Labhras O'Murchu.

"This has certainly been a year of firsts for the fleadh," he said. "As well as the first time it has come to Northern Ireland, it is also the first time any President of Ireland has attended the launch and the first time there has been such a diverse cultural programme and the fleadh is the better for it.

"We have been delighted with the participation of the loyalist bands and we were all at The Pride, which we could all identify with – the love of the music and keeping traditions alive."

Mr O'Murchu said the massive Derry welcome was another first.

"I have never experienced numbers like it for the opening of a fleadh," he said. "Standing on the stage in the Guildhall on Sunday there was such a feeling of goodwill and joy it was almost palpable. I think right from the start people realised the historic aspect to this year and took ownership and made it a celebration."

The fleadh traditionally brings huge economic benefits to the host town or city, with crowds of up to 300,000 not uncommon. It is expected to generate around £40m for the north west economy.

This has already led some people to discuss the possibility of a return of the fleadh to Derry, an idea that Mr O'Murchu endorsed wholeheartedly.

"I championed the Derry application because for a long time I wanted the fleadh to be held in Northern Ireland as a thank you for the huge numbers who travel to the fleadh every year from here, and for keeping the traditions as strong as anywhere else. So why should it not come to Northern Ireland?" he said.

"Derry has made such a success of this year that they would be a strong contender any other year. They have raised the bar to new heights that it would be hard for others to achieve.

"Their programme has been totally different from any other, but their innovations have now to be considered by others in their applications.

"I feel humbled and totally vindicated by the support I gave the Derry branch and by the courtesy, welcome and warmth from all – and I mean all – the people of Derry."

what's on today

1pm Guildhall

Across the Atlantic: A first class line-up of North American acts, including Liz Carroll, accompanied by Sean Og Graham and Trevor Hutchinson.

3.30pm Guildhall

Seisiun Mor Amhrain na hEigse: An outdoor spectacle where all Scoil Eigse pupils perform together en masse, showcasing the skills and talents they have learned throughout the week of the All-Ireland Fleadh.

8pm Craft Village

FleadhLive at the live club stage in the heart of the city centre, with some of the finest acts who have arrived for the Fleadh Cheoil.

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