Drogheda Credit Union and Dundalk Credit Union have joined forces with a group of Credit Unions across Louth, Meath and North Dublin to fund the sponsorship of the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2018.


“The Credit Union” has been announced as the main sponsor of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann which will take place this summer in Drogheda from 12th– 19thAugust. Both Drogheda and Dundalk Credit Unions celebrate their 50thanniversaries this year and have been strong supporters of Fleadh Drogheda from the outset, forming a collaborative group of Credit Unions that also includes Ardee Credit Union, Duleek Credit Union, Dunleer Credit Union and Progressive Credit Union from North Dublin to support and sponsor the biggest family festival in the country.


Sponsoring the massive community event that is Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann ties in with the Credit Unions’ not-for-profit ethos and role at the very heart of communities all over Ireland. “The Credit Union” consistently aims to make our communities a better place by supporting community enhancing events and initiatives and identified Fleadh Drogheda as a unique opportunity to become part of a much wider initiative showcasing Drogheda and County Louth as a place of beauty, culture and a go to tourist destination.


Tom Kiely, CEO Drogheda Credit Union said,“Drogheda Credit Union are delighted to support our community on what is to be the biggest event ever hosted in the town of Drogheda.”


Commenting further on the announcement, Geraldine Gilsenan, Chairperson of Drogheda Credit Union Ltd said,“We are excited to be on board as Main Sponsor of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 which will be hosted this year in Drogheda. We have strong ties with our communities so it is great to be able to engage with such a huge event. People in our Trim & Bettystown communities and across the counties of Louth, Meath and North Dublin are alsogearing up for an amazing treat of seven days and nights of music, dancing, singing and craic.”


Billy Doyle, CEO of Dundalk Credit Union said,“Dundalk Credit Union are thrilled that “The Credit Union” will be the main sponsor of Fleadh Cheoil naÉireann 2018. The Fleadh is the biggest celebration of Irish music and culture and we are very excited to support this unique and memorable community event as part of our 50thanniversary celebrations. This is the first year in its history that the Fleadh has come to Co. Louth and we have no doubt it will be a wonderful event for all ages to enjoy.“

Welcoming the sponsorship deal theChief Executive of Louth County Council Joan Martinsaid,“Louth County Council are very much looking forward to working with “the Credit Union” as we prepare to welcome Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to Drogheda. “The Credit Union” is a perfect fit as a main sponsor given its exemplary track record in supporting ordinary people, community initiatives and local organisations not just in Louth but across the country.”


This is the first time in many years that the Fleadh will be held on the east coast of Ireland and the local economy is set to benefit to the tune of €40million. 400,000 visitors are expected to attend the week-long festival in August, with 30% of people expected to travel from overseas to enjoy the festivities on offer. Today’s sponsorship announcement comes ahead of next week’s official launch of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, when a full program of events will be announced.



Busking Competition


After a very long winter, Music at the Gate is back to fill streets of Drogheda with traditional Irish music, song and dance.
Taking place on Saturday 5th May from 10.30am to 2.00pm at Saint Laurence’s Gate, this free event is open to everyone.

Founder of #MusicAtTheGate Darragh Ó hÉiligh explains “This is an open music session with the magnificent St Laurence’s Gate as our backdrop. Musicians from all over Leinster will be there to play. Locals are invited to sit in on the session, to sing or to dance. Drop along at any stage on Saturday and enjoy the music and fun.”

He continues “We’re thrilled to be joined at May’s #MusicAtTheGate by dancers from the world-renowned Ní Chearra Ó Baoláin School of Irish Dancing. They’ll perform on the day but they’ll also encourage the audience to join them and learn a few steps.”

Darragh, an internationally recognised Uileann Piper, explains “With Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann arriving in Drogheda in August, a visit to #MusicAtTheGate is a great way of introducing children to Ireland’s living traditions of Irish music, language, song and dance.”

Music at the Gate takes place during the Drogheda Arts Festival so there’s lots more to do afterwards including the free family day on St Dominic’s Park in the afternoon.

This is the fourth #MusicAtTheGate event in the series. The event started back in September, just weeks after the closure of St. Laurence’s Gate to traffic. Darragh, who is passionate about heritage, tradition and music, saw the opportunity to make the space under the Gate a performance space. He galvanised musicians and other supporters from the community to help make his idea into a reality. And what a success it has been. Each event attracts an average of 800 people over the course of the 3½ hour session.

Darragh concludes “Find out more visiting and follow us on Facebook. It promises to be a great session of music, song and dance – we look forward to welcoming a great crowd.”

#MusicAtTheGate is proudly supported by Design Gallery, Order of Malta, Louth County Council, Drogheda Arts Festival and Ireland’s Ancient East.

The Essential Guide To Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

The Executive Committee for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is finalising a full programme of events in the coming weeks as the final touches are put in place ahead of the week-long festivities set to take place.

Significant progress has been made in recent weeks with event organisers receiving a further endorsement of their hard work last weekend, as Drogheda was awarded the honour of hosting Fleadh 2019 for the second consecutive year.  A licence application was also submitted to Louth County Council this week, which is expected to give the official stamp of approval for the Fleadh to take place.


 As excitement mounts for this year’s event,  we have created an essential guide to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann:

 What is Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann?

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the Olympics of Irish Traditional Music, Song, Dance and Gaeilge.  It is a family festival that celebrates Irish Culture through a varied week-long programme of events.

When and where will it be held?

It will run from the 12th to the 19th of August 2018 in Drogheda, Co.Louth.

 What sort of events can I expect?

Visitors can expect to enjoy a week long programme full of events including: music sessions, singing sessions, concerts, parades, competitions, workshops, céilithe, town walks, youth events, streets sessions, comhrá agus cupán tae and more.

 How many people are expected to attend?

It is expected that 400,000 people will visit Drogheda over the course of the week.

 How will the Fleadh benefit Drogheda and the surrounding region?

Drogheda is expected to reap huge economic benefits from the week-long event, with an estimated €40m expected to be generated for County Louth as a result of the festival. The Fleadh also offers a unique opportunity to showcase Drogheda and County Louth as a must-visit tourist destination to domestic and international audiences, ultimately encouraging return visits to the area following the event.

What is Scoil Éigse?

The Scoil Éigse is the educational aspect of the Fleadh, offering daily workshops catering for all traditional Irish instruments. Approximately 900 musicians will attend the Scoil Éigse workshops.

 What is so special about the Fleadh?

The Fleadh is the pivotal event in every Traditional Irish Musicians annual calendar.

 What is the best part of the Fleadh?

Everyone has a different ‘best part’ of the Fleadh.  Make sure to be in Drogheda to discover what your favourite element is!

 How can people volunteer to help?

Volunteers are key to the success of the Fleadh. Over 1,000 volunteers will get involved in a variety of roles across the week such as competition volunteers, street stewards, Fleadh ambassadors, catering volunteers, Green Fleadh volunteers and administration support. To get involved see

 What sort of entertainment will there be for families?

The entertainment for families is endless, with events to suit all ages including a family gig rig, fun days in the parks, street entertainment, family orientated concerts and family music workshops, to name but a few.

For further information on this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann visit

or follow us at



Secondary Schools Initiative Launched As Part Of Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann Drogheda 2018

Secondary school students in Drogheda are being invited to take centre stage as part of the celebrations in the run up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018. The Youth Committee for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann as part of its ongoing Secondary Schools Project is inviting students to put their stamp on a major creative initiative.

In collaboration with The Men’s Shed in Drogheda, The Youth Committee is teaming up with local businesses to create small wooden sculptures of traditional Irish musical instruments. Youth Committee Chairperson Orla Brannigan is calling on schools to get involved by painting and decorating the sculptures, which will be displayed throughout the town during the week of the Fleadh from 12th – 19th August 2018.

Orla Brannigan said “The Secondary Schools Project aims to increase student’s awareness of Irish culture and tradition and encourage them to become actively involved in the celebrations for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann”.

The sculptures will be ready in the coming weeks, then the work on decoration can begin. Those interested in taking part are asked to contact [email protected].


Photo credit: Molly Crilly




Fleadh Licence Application Submitted To Louth County Council

The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Executive Committee has submitted an application to Louth County Council seeking official approval for the staging of Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Drogheda during the summer. A licence application is being sought by the committee from Louth County Council for the event, which is expected to attract close to 400,000 people during the week-long festivities commencing on Sunday 12th August.

The public’s views on the application are invited and the application can be inspected at the Civic Offices Fair Street Drogheda, Town Hall, Dundalk and also at County Hall, Dundalk during office hours for a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of the application. Submissions or observations may be made in writing to Louth County Council, Planning Department, within the same period.i.e. until 3rd April.

The application remains the final hurdle to overcome in order to give the official stamp of approval from Louth County Council for the Fleadh to take place in August.

County Louth already has a long- established and extensive arts, heritage and cultural programme and the Fleadh will further cement this, whilst enhancing the already flourishing ‘Creative Ireland Programme’.

Drogheda is also expected to reap huge economic benefits from the week-long event, it is estimated that €40m will flow into County Louth as a result of the festival. The long term benefits will include increased awareness of Drogheda and County Louth as a tourist destination and forging strong community ties.

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

  • photo credit:

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.