6th June 2016
Clare GAA has joined forces with Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Inis 2016 to encourage players, club members and supporters to get behind the Fleadh and volunteer some of their time between 14th – 22nd August. Four leading Clare GAA stars are supporting the campaign including All-Ireland hurler Brendan Bugler who is also a well-known traditional accordion player. In a memorable piece of TV footage after winning the 2013 All Ireland, the Clare team celebrated in the dressing room to Brendan’s music.
Laurie Ryan from Clare’s Senior Ladies Football and Orlaith Duggan from Clare Senior Camogie are joining Brendan in the campaign to attract Fleadh Volunteers from the ranks of the GAA. The star quality of the Clare Captain in this season’s National Football League has catapulted Gary Brennan to national prominence and now he is also getting behind the Fleadh Volunteer Drive.
‘An opportunity like this doesn’t come around too often and we would regret not being involved’ said Brendan Bugler. He echoed Anthony Daly’s famous All Ireland victory speech in 1995, "We love our traditional music in Clare, but we love our hurling too!"
Orlaith Duggan believes it’s going to be a super week. “I would encourage everyone to get involved, I am delighted to be supporting the Clare Volunteer Centre as they call for volunteers,” she said. ‘It’s exciting to be part of the Fleadh and to make it the best one ever for Clare,’ added Gary Brennan expressing his hopes for the great event.
Sharon Meaney, Manager of Clare Volunteer Centre has responsibility for coordinating the search for 1500 volunteers on behalf of the Fleadh Committee. “I approached the GAA to see if they would support the drive to recruit local people to volunteer to welcome visitors to Co. Clare during the month of August. Anything we can do to help was the overwhelming response. The GAA is at the centre of every parish and relies heavily on the goodwill and generosity of volunteers, so this seemed like a perfect partnership. The GAA are hugely skilled in an array of volunteering activities including stewarding, car parking, catering and indeed ambassadorial roles,” she said.
GAA County Secretary Pat Fitzgerald has been an enthusiastic supporter in the effort to assist and saidthat Clare GAA is delighted to support the Volunteer Recruitment Drive for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016.The support of the GAA has also been welcomed by Micheál Ó Riabhaigh, Chairman of the Fleadh Committee. He described Comhaltas and the GAA as kindred spirits. “They have achieved so much in keeping Gaelic games at the very centre of Clare and Irish life. The aim of Comhaltas is to grow and develop both the quality of Irish music and audiences to appreciate it. I want to thank the GAA for their participation and I feel sure it will make a really positive difference,” he said.