Saint Patrick set to pave the way for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Festival

Drogheda can expect a Saint Patrick’s Day with a difference this year, with a four-day extravaganza spanning Friday to Monday planned throughout the town, which is part of an extensive programme of exciting family events planned in the run up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this August. Residents and visitors to Drogheda will be treated to a taste of the Fleadh during the weekend-long celebration of Irish culture, music, language, song and dance.


Chairperson of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann organising committee, Lolo Robinson, has been appointed Grand Marshal of the parade and has urged those planning to come to Drogheda to make a point of participating in the many events scheduled to take place over weekend.


Lolo Robinson saidThe theme of this year’s parade is ‘Celebrating Irish Culture’. This Saint Patrick’s Day will mark the beginning of an extensive programme of family friendly events, as Drogheda gets set to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018.”

On Friday 16th of March, a concert with BBC Musican of the Year, Tim Edey will be held at the Barbican Theatre with a host of local musicians. Elsewhere at Odd Mollies, talented five-piece ‘Un-Reel’ made up of traditional Irish music students from DKIT will take to the stage followed by an open session.

The highlight of the weekend, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, will take place on Saturday, 17th March at midday. Amongst the many artistic floats and participants, 100 people from the Comhaltas Drogheda branch will take part along with 3 Irish dance schools and 10 wren boys. ‘Music At The Magical Marquee’ will also take place on the 17th at Duke Street Car Park, West Street and will incorporate a trad seisiún, face painting, balloon art and even an ice cream van for a fun family day out. Furthermore, a Drogheda Comhaltas Céilí will take place this day at the Holy Family Community Centre.


On Fleadh Sunday, the Irish Street Seisiún competition will take place between 2pm and 5pm on Laurence & West Streets Drogheda. Cash prizes of €600 will be split between first, second and third place prize winners, with first place also securing a 30 minute performance spot during the Fleadh this August.

The festivities will draw to a close on Monday with a traditional Irish singing session featuring Noelle Bowe and The Drogheda Singing Circle at Highlanes Gallery, followed by a Traditional Seisiún with Gerry Breen, John O’Reilly and Darragh Ó Héiligh at O’Raghallaighs GAA Club.

To find out more details of time and locations of the events taking place visit

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Drogheda Secures Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann For A Second Year

In a matter of weeks, Drogheda will announce a full programme featuring some of the top Irish and International artists set to perform at this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The news comes as Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann awarded Drogheda the honour of hosting the Fleadh in 2019 for the second consecutive year.


Chairperson of the Fleadh Executive Committee Lolo Robinson said, ”Today’s decision is an endorsement of our hard work to date and a vote of confidence in the people of Drogheda and County Louth, who are committed to delivering a world-class event and a memorable visitor experience this summer.


“Securing Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for a second consecutive year will afford us the opportunity to continue to build on what will be a hugely successful event this summer and establish Drogheda as a must-visit destination along Ireland’s Ancient East.”


Attracting more than 400,000 attendees, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the world’s largest celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance.


Welcoming the news, the Chief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martin said, ”We are absolutely delighted that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will return to Drogheda in 2019. County Louth already has a long established and extensive arts, heritage and cultural programme and the Fleadh will further cement this, whilst enhancing our flourishing ‘Creative Ireland Programme’.


“Today’s announcement will have significant economic benefits for Drogheda and County Louth as a whole. This year’s event will shine a spotlight on County Louth and the surrounding region, which will afford us a unique opportunity to capitalise on a national and international audience. It has been estimated that up to €40m will flow into County Louth as a result of the festival, with the long-term benefits to include increased awareness of Drogheda and County Louth as a tourist destination and forging strong community ties.”


This August marks the first time in many years that the Fleadh will be held on the east coast and Drogheda is perfectly positioned to capitalise on the population numbers in both Dublin and Belfast. The town’s strategic location just off the M1 and its first class public transport links makes it the perfect location for visitors to travel to with ease.



Celebrating Irish Culture – Sneak Peek at The Programme!

St. Patrick’s Day is turning in to a weekend festival for 2018 with the theme of celebrating Irish Culture – the year of the Fleadh. A weekend-long celebration of Irish culture, music, language, song and dance is planned to turn the town into a colourful celebration of all that is inspiring, excellent and open about Irish culture.


The programme for the weekend is been finalised however a few highlights already announced include:


*Fri 16th 7pm Barbican Theatre – Tim Edey, BBC Musician of the Years with local musicians €10.

*Sat 17th 10.30-11.30am Pop-Up Gaeltacht ar siúl i nGailearaí na Highlanes

*Sat 17th 12pm Drogheda St. Patrick’s Weekend Parade – Grand Marshal Lolo Robinson, Drogheda Comhaltas, Free

*Sat 17th 1.30pm-5pm Music at the Magical Marquee – Trad Seisiún, Face Painting, Balloon Art & More Family Entertainment – Duke Street Car Park – Entry via The Grey Goose

*Sat 17th 4pm – Songs, Fiddle tunes and Harp Airs of Oriel – Beaulieu House Concert with Gerry Cullen, Sylvia Crawford, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháín & Breige Quinn. €15

*Sat 17th 7pm – Drogheda Comhaltas Céilí: Holy Family Community Centre €5, Children Free

*Sun 18th 2pm – Fleadh Sunday Laurence Street – Traditional Irish Busking Competition, Céilí at the Gate, Laurence Street Family Appreciation Party, 3pm – Live at the Highlanes Session, 5pm – McPhails Session – Free


Links to Performances that can be booked online:

Fri 16th: 7pm – Barbican Theatre: Tim Edey, a BBC Musician of the year multi-instrumentalist and singer with Local Musicians – Buy tickets HERE

Fri 16th & Sun 18th: 8pm – Droichead Arts Centre: Come Into The Parlour – St. Peter’s Male Voice Choir, Drogheda and Musical Director Edward Holly present a concert of Irish favourites. – Buy tickets HERE

Sat 17th: 4pm – Songs, Fiddle tunes and Harp Airs of Oriel – Beaulieu House Concert with Gerry Cullen, Sylvia Crawford, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháín & Breige Quinn. – Buy tickets HERE


With Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann being held in Drogheda this August it is hoped that the weekend Festival will give local people and visitors a taste of the Fleadh. The most up to date programme can be checked out online at

Rory Scott, Chairperson of the Fleadh Charter & Legacy Committee urged the local community to support the St. Patrick’s Festival weekend and help Drogheda Celebrate Irish Culture in the year of the Fleadh: “Over the last few years we have seen a huge increase in the interest in Irish culture in the Drogheda area, particularly with young people, and the numbers learning traditional Irish music have soared. We look forward to showcasing the best of local traditional Irish culture for the weekend and we encourage everyone to come along and support the events”

To get in touch with the Fleadh Charter & Legacy Committee and to become involved with the weekend email: [email protected]


Primary Schools Invited To Participate In Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Programme Of Celebrations

The organising committee for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, which will be held in Drogheda from 12th – 19th August 2018, is inviting primary schools in Drogheda and the surrounding areas to take centre stage during this year’s extensive programme of celebrations.

The ‘Cas Amhrán’ programme asks children to learn six songs, taken from John Spillane’s album, ‘The Songs We Learned At School Ar Ais Arís’. Teachers and their students will be invited to join with other schools from across the country to perform together at the Cas Amhrán event, hosted by Sean Ó Laoire from 11am on Thursday 21st June 2018 at O’Raghallaigh’s GAA club, Drogheda.

The initiative, which is designed to instill an awareness and understanding of the Fleadh amongst young people, will also host a similar event for participants and their families at the Gig Rig during the week-long festival in August.

Orla Brannigan, Youth Committee Chairperson for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann commented; “I am delighted to launch this exciting initiative and would like to encourage primary schools from Drogheda and the surrounding areas to join us in celebrating the largest family music festival in the country. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank John Spillane for kindly giving us permission to perform pieces from ‘The Songs We Learned at School Ar Ais Arís’.

“Through Cas Amhrán we aim to increase children’s awareness of Irish culture and tradition and encourage them to immerse themselves in the celebrations of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. We are in the process of finalising an exciting and varied programme of events to celebrate Irish music and song as we prepare to welcome Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to Drogheda and will release details in the upcoming weeks.”

To register your school’s interest to participate in Cas Amhrán, please contact [email protected]. Teachers are asked to outline the number of participating children and include a contact phone number/email address.


Entertainment locations identified for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Drogheda 2018

Three strategic locations have been identified in Drogheda for the Gig Rig, the Dome and a location for Fleadh TV as part of the preparations for Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann 2018.

The Fleadh executive committee undertook an exhaustive process in order to identify the best and most strategically located venues. Subject to final approval of the event licence application, the Gig Rig will be located at Bolton Square, St. Dominick’s Park has been identified as a location for the 2,000-seater Dome and Fleadh TV will be based at North Quay.

The Chairperson of the Fleadh executive committee LoLo Robinson said “another hurdle has been cleared, paving the way for a major announcement in the coming weeks regarding the acts set to perform as part of the Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann 2018”.

Lolo Robinson added that a consultation process was undertaken some time ago amongst Gardaí, town planners, and residents in order to identify the most appropriate and convenient locations in Drogheda.

400,000 visitors are expected to visit the Fleadh during the week-long festival in August, with 30% of these predicted to travel from overseas. A full programme of events is due to be announced in the coming weeks.

Irish Street Seisiún Busking Competition

The Fleadh Charter & Legacy Committee are bringing a taste of the Fleadh to the St. Patrick’s Weekend Festival. We are hosting an Irish Street Seisiún Busking Competition on Sunday 18th March from 2-5pm on Laurence Street Drogheda.

Prizes include €300 cash for 1st Prize and a performance spot during the Fleadh in August. 2nd Prize is €200 and 3rd prize is €100.

Register before Tuesday the 13h of March by emailing [email protected]

  • T&C’s & Competition Rules Apply

Making Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann work for your Business

Making Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann work for your Business:

Venue: Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda

Date: 05/03/2018

Time: 12.00pm to 2.30pm

Category: Enterprise Week

An interactive workshop to help local retailers make the most of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018, in conjunction with Ennis Chamber, Retail Excellence Ireland and Drogheda & District Chamber

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the biggest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance. The festival, which attracts over 350,000 visitors in the course of a week, is coming to Drogheda in from 12-19th August 2018.

This is, without doubt, the largest event to ever take place in Louth. It is a huge opportunity for retailers and SME’s to connect with this large visiting audience and boost sales. So how can you and your business best prepare for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann?

By joining us for this workshop. Hear from Jean McCabe, Ennis Retailer and Past President of Ennis Chamber. Learn from her first-hand experience of what it’s like to have the Fleadh in your town. Find out more about the Fleadh audience, what they expect, what they respond to and how you can connect with them.

Then take part in an interactive workshop with retail consultant Keith Harford. Explore creative ways to connect with visitors and drive sales.
Consider ways to collaborate and cross promote to help all local companies get the best from the Fleadh. Share ideas on how Drogheda can prepare and maximise the long term impact of the Fleadh for both locals and return visitors.

This intensive workshop is a great first step in getting your business ready for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Make sure that the Fleadh works for your business by booking your place today.

This event is hosted by Local Enterprise Office Louth in association with Drogheda & District Chamber, Ennis Chamber and Retail Excellence Ireland.”

Countdown to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Drogheda 2018 Begins

The international spotlight is set to shine on Drogheda, County Louth as the countdown to the official launch of Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann Drogheda 2018 begins. In a matter of weeks, a full programme of events will be announced by the Fleadh Executive Committee.

  • Full programme of events to be announced
  • Preparations ahead of schedule
  • 300,000 visitors expected to visit Drogheda
  • Biggest family festival in the country
  • 30% of visitor expected from overseas

In March, Drogheda was officially announced by Comhaltas Ceoltólrí Éireann as the host for the Fleadh in 2018, and within a matter of weeks the Fleadh 2018 Executive Committee was established to organise the mammoth undertaking. Fleadh 2018 Drogheda is expected to attract an audience eight times that of Electric Picnic.

In the intervening months, a number of venues for the various competitions and concerts have been identified. A location for the spectacular dome has also been approved and the services of an event management company and PR company have been agreed.

Meetings with the emergency services and the Gardaí have taken place to discuss requirements for the Fleadh and an agreement on resources has been reached. The Louth Volunteer centre has also played an active part in the planning and will provide crucial resources and manpower throughout the festivities. The Executive Committee has also engaged with their counterparts in Ennis and Sligo who previously hosted the event.

Speaking ahead of the official launch, the Chairperson of the Fleadh Executive Committee Lolo Robinson said “Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann 2018 provides us with a golden opportunity to showcase Drogheda and County Louth as a county steeped in history, beauty and culture to a worldwide audience.”

Lolo Robinson commended the Fleadh Executive Committee and Louth County Council for their commitment, hard work and dedication. She paid special tribute to the many voluntary groups and particularly the people of Drogheda for their enthusiasm and offers of help in order to make Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann Drogheda 2018 a family festival to remember.