CREAM OF THE COUNTY Foxford is hosting the Mayo Fleadh this week, for the second year running.
This week, for the second year running, Foxford is hosting one of the major cultural events in the county, Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo. During the county fleadh, which runs until this Sunday, May 12, competition goers will fill the venues located throughout the town in anticipation of qualifying for the provincial stages – and possibly to be in the running for a coveted All-Ireland title.
The fleadh began yesterday (Monday) with dancing competitions in St Joseph’s Secondary School. All other competitions will take place this weekend, May 11-12 between the secondary school and Foxford Sports and Leisure Centre, while other Fleadh events will take place all through the week.
The public is encouraged to attend the competitions which will run from 10am daily. Individual competitions will run in the mornings, while Grúpaí Cheoil and Céilí Band competitions will run from 4.30pm on Saturday and 3.30pm on Sunday.
Musicians and music lovers from all corners of Ireland are in Foxford for the week, ensuring the town is jam packed with music sessions. As was the case last year, a massive ‘high energy’ Session Trail will be hosted by all the pubs in the town. While most of the sessions are planned for indoors, it is hoped that that the music will spill outside onto the streets.
The Hideout Lounge will host a rambling house on Thursday at 8.30pm, with various different characters from around Mayo providing entertainment. Anyone who attends on the night can expect to step back in time to what was a regular occurrence in Irish houses long ago where people gathered to share stories, songs, music and dance.
On Friday, the official opening of the fleadh will take place at a concert in the secondary school at 8pm. This concert will also showcase a selection of Mayo’s best musicians and dancers with sessions continuing in pubs into the night afterwards.
At lunch time (12.30pm) on Saturday, a junior session will take place in the beautiful surroundings of the iconic Foxford Woollen Mills. Mass will be celebrated on Saturday evening at 7.30pm, complemented by singing by members of the Mayo CCÉ All-Irish choir. The children of Glór na Sí, under the musical direction of Tommy Doherty, will perform at Mass on Sunday morning at 11am.
The Fleadh Céilí will take place on Saturday night at 9.30pm in the Brown Memorial Hall, with music supplied by the very popular, Swallow’s Tail Céilí Band.
Also, on Sunday, any fan of the great outdoors can take part in a walk, specially organised by the very active Foxford Ramblers walking group. A musical ramble through Drummin Wood with a cupán tae by the lake, the walk will leave from Foxford Leisure Centre at 12.30pm.
For full details on the fleadh, see the ‘Mayo Fleadh – Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo’ page on Facebook.
Daily admission to the fleadh competitions is €5 for adults and €3 for non-competing children.