Fleadh Cheoil: Clones

Fleadh Cheoil: Clones

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28min 17sec





black and white


Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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A reporter experiences the All Ireland Music Festival, Fleadh Cheoil.

Driving out of the Ulster Prince Ship in Belfast, the reporter asks a passer-by for directions to the festival before heading on his way to Clones in Co. Monaghan. With scenes of vendors and commentary on the multiple cases of alcohol, it's clear the festivities are soon to begin - described as "almost medieval" the preparations look like it could be for a "bardic feast...with Guinness".

Live street performances are heard from Eddie Sweeny, Ambrose McDermott and Peter McQuillian before the festival begins, and once the festival is officially opened music is heard from every corner. Battling his way through the crowds, the reporter manages to get a pint and wonders the packed streets to listen to musicians such as Liam Clancy, Maureen, Cathal McConnell and Micky McCann. Eventually the revelry begins to wind down as people begin to drift off, Monday morning is soon here and the clean up begins.  


The first national festival of Irish traditional music was held in Mullingar in 1951. At its inaugural meeting in September 1951, CCÉ came up with the title of Fleadh Cheoil, aiming to make this a great national festival of traditional music.

From its beginning, the goal of the Fleadh Cheoil was to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The fleadh developed as a mainly competitive event, but it also included many concerts.


An Ulster Television Production.



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