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Westport to host Fleadh 2023


EXCITING TIMES Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo Chairperson Seamus Cawley with members of Westport CCÉ and Mayo county board officers in Westport last week.

Westport has been confirmed as the host town for the 2023 Mayo Fleadh Cheoil, which takes place from May 10 to 14 next year.  This renowned cultural celebration, which was last held in the town in 2007, attracts hundreds of traditional musicians, singers and dancers each year.  Speaking at the official announcement, Cathaoirleach of Mayo Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Seamus Cawley said Westport was the ideal town to host the Mayo Fleadh in 2023. “Westport is a quality cultural destination with state-of-the-art facilities and everyone associated with traditional music, song, dance and the Irish language is truly looking forward to next May. It is a daunting and challenging task to host the Mayo Fleadh but I want to assure everyone in Westport and in the local Comhaltas branch that they have the full support of the Mayo County Board,” commented Cawley.
The hosting of the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil in 2023 is also great news for the tourism sector and the local economy with over six hundred competitors alone expected to attend over the festival weekend. Westport Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Chairperson Olivia Thornton said the announcement was brilliant news for the town and the local Comhaltas branch.  
“Trojan work has been done behind the scenes over the past few weeks and we are just thrilled now that the Fleadh is returning to Westport after an absence of almost twenty years.  It is going to take a mammoth community effort but I know the people of Westport will put their shoulder to the wheel and give a céad míle fáilte to everyone,” commented Staunton.
Special committee
Westport CCÉ has set up a special Fleadh Cheoil Committee that is tasked with putting together an exciting and engaging week-long programme of events.  The committee is chaired by Piaras Ó Raghallaigh who said the entire community would be invited and included in the programme of activities.  
“Traditional music, song and dance will be to the fore, but we also hope to include other international cultures and ethnicities that play such an important role in our diverse community today,” commented Ó Raghallaigh.  The Westport Fleadh committee is working enthusiastically on the programme of events at present with plans afoot to shine a spotlight on the entire cultural spectrum.  
“Westport is renowned for its traditional music ambassadors and musicians and these will certainly feature prominently, but we also want to focus on other aspects of our culture, folklore and heritage. Set-dancing and sean-nós dancing, traditional singing, the Irish language, poetry, local place names, our magnificent maritime heritage and our local artists will all be included in the programme of events,” added Ó Raghallaigh.    
The hosting of the Fleadh Cheoil Mhaigh Eo will require an enormous collaborative and community effort, according to the organisers.  
“We will require the support of everyone in the community from voluntary groups to local businesses to make the 2023 Mayo Fleadh a success. Our theme is ‘Le Chéile/Together’ and we hope that the Mayo Fleadh leaves a lasting legacy for years to come,” concluded Ó Raghallaigh.  

The Mayo News and the CCÉ Westport Facebook page will have regular updates in the coming weeks and months.