digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















The opening parade of the 2008 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore, County Offaly

The Fleadh Cheoil (Irish pronunciation: [fʲlʲaː çoːlʲ], meaning "festival of music") is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ).

There are various stages to the competition. In Ireland there are county and provincial competitions leading to the All-Ireland Fleadh. In Britain there are regional, then national stages of qualification for the All-Ireland. North America has two regional qualifying Fleadh Cheoil. The Mid Atlantic Fleadh[1] covers the US eastern seaboard, eastern Canada and the Maritimes. The Midwest Fleadh[2] covers the rest of North America from Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta and Detroit to San Francisco.

Competitions are divided into the following age categories: under 12, 12–15, 15–18, and over 18 (senior).


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. The fleadh has been held in many different venues.

In the years that followed, the number of would-be competitors grew so large that qualifying stages had to be arranged at county and provincial levels. Since then, Fleadh Nua (the new fleadh), Fleadh na Breataine (an All-Britain fleadh) and regional fleadhanna in Britain, and two major fleadhanna in the USA have also become annual CCÉ events.

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, céilíthe, parades, and sessions.

Today, nearly 50 years on, fleadhanna at each level provide a platform and a meeting place for the thousands of musicians, singers and dancers who carry on the tradition. Around 20,000 performers compete in fleadhanna each year.

The 2008 festival was held in Tullamore, County Offaly and attracted an estimated crowd of 250,000 people making it Ireland's largest festival, music or otherwise.[3] The Fleadh is scheduled to go to Sligo in 2014.

The largest fleadh to date was 2013 in Derry, an event which attracted 430,000 people. [4]

Competition categories[edit]

According to CCÉ's official rules for 2005:

Solo competitions shall be held for the following instruments: fiddle; two-row accordion; concert flute; whistle; piano accordion; concertina; uilleann pipes; harp; mouth organ; banjo; mandolin – excluding banjo-mandolin; piano; old-style melodeon; bodhrán; war pipes; miscellaneous such as three and five row button accordion, piccolo, [chromatic] harmonica and other stringed instruments; céilí band drums; accompaniment – confined to piano, harp, guitar and bouzouki-type instruments; solo traditional singing in Irish and English; whistling; lilting; newly composed ballads and amhráin nua-cheaptha (newly composed songs in Irish).
Solo competitions for slow airs shall be held in all age groups for the following instruments: (a) fiddle; (b) concert flute; (c) whistle; (d) uilleann pipes; and (e) harp (as of 2010).

There are also competitions for the following ensembles: duet, trio, céilí band, instrumental group (grupaí cheoil), accordion band, pipe band, and miscellaneous ensemble.

The full rule set, which may change from year to year, is available from CCÉ web site[5] in the Press Room section. Comhaltas has a constitution or "Bunreacht"[6] in the Irish language.


Towns and cities wishing to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann must submit several applications to Ardchomhairle an Chomaltais – the highest committee within CCÉ. Certain members of the Ardchomhairle then inspect the applicant towns and the locations that have been proposed as competition venues, before coming to a final decision several weeks after the preceding fleadh, usually in September. Once a town has been chosen to host the Fleadh, it undertakes to host the festival for two consecutive years. However, Comhaltas has the right to deny any the successful town the Fleadh for the second year if poor venues, organisational problems, etc. are demonstrated on the town's first year of hosting. On 10 September 2011, the 2012 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil was awarded to Cavan, County Cavan, for the third year in succession. The other towns who applied for the 2012 festival were Ennis, County Clare; and Sligo, County Sligo. The Fleadh was held in Derry in 2013, the first time that it was held in Northern Ireland. One of the primary reasons for holding the Fleadh in Derry was due to that city being awarded the UK City of Culture for 2013. In 2014, it was confirmed that the Fleadh Cheoil would be held in Sligo for 2014 and 2015.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CCE Mid Atlantic Fleadh". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  2. ^ midwestfleadh.com
  3. ^ Tullamore's Fleadh-trick Offaly Express, 27 August 2008
  4. ^ ""Derry Fleadh 'biggest ever' say organisers"". BBC. |
  5. ^ "comhaltas.com". comhaltas.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Comhaltas: Comhaltas Constitution (Bunreacht)". Comhaltas.ie. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleadh_Cheoil — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
26684 videos foundNext > 

Fleadh Cheoil Derry 2013

Fleadh Cheoil Derry 2013.

Fleadh Cheoil 15/8/2014

Selection of music from Sligo's Fleadh Cheoil on August 15th 2014.

Fleadh Cheoil Listowel (1973) Cartlann TV50 RTE

The craic & ambience from Listowel 1973. . Traditional music performances .. is go leor eile.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann | Sligo, Ireland | 10th - 17th August 2014

FleadhCheoil :: Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the world's biggest traditional Irish music festival, takes place in Sligo, Ireland from 10th-17th August 2014 - ...

Fleadh Cheoil 2012 Cavan Episode 2 - Maguire Media Production 2012

Highlights of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Cavan 2012. Karina Charles presents, produced by Maguire Media.

Fleadh Cheoil Sligo 2014

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the biggest traditional Irish music festival on the planet. Translated, its name means The Music Festival of Ireland and that is...

Cavan Fleadh Bodhrán Session during Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

Bodhrán Music Session in The Farnhan Arms Hotel During Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. For more Fleadh Video log on to Ireland's first Live WebTV Channel www.cava...

Breaking Trad: Set of Reels(Fleadh Cheoil 2014-Sligo)

Set of Reels from the new Irish traditional music group called "Breaking Trad".

Craic @ Fleadh Cheoil 2012 Cavan - RTE1 - 2012 Cuid 3

From Cavan 2012. The craic / ambience. Traditional music performances from box player Dan Brouder, flautist Danny Boyle and five-piece band Goitse. Plus, cov...

Fleadh cheoil na hEireann, Sligo

26684 videos foundNext > 

410 news items


Fri, 23 Jan 2015 04:22:30 -0800

The Fleadh Cheoil series (7.30pm RTÉ One) returns with programmes from Sligo to where the annual event had repaired after a 23-year absence. Music Inc (5.00pm RTÉ 2) sees the contestants working under the watchful eye and ear of Ella Henderson.

Derry Journal

Derry Journal
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:26:15 -0800

“This was particularly evident in Derry during ‎Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2013 when loyalist bands got involved in the celebrations. “At the awards ceremony, we lobbied the Comhaltas leadership on bringing the Fleadh back to Derry in the next few years.
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 04:11:15 -0800

Cavan hosted the Fleadh Cheoil, the annual gathering of traditional Irish musicians and dancers from around the world, from 2010-'12, easily accommodating 250,000 visitors. The county is also forging a reputation for fine cuisine – 20 percent of ...
The Daily Voice
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 02:02:23 -0800

The purpose of the screening is also to launch Fleadh Cheoil Sligo 2015 (translated as Music Festival of Ireland), a nine-day jamboree of music, song and dance that will be held Aug. 9-16 in County Sligo. The screening will take place at 7 p.m ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann has been criticised for accepting sponsorship for next week's Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann from oil company Shell, which has developed the gas field off Mayo and has been involved in long controversy over its onshore pipeline ...


Sun, 17 Aug 2014 04:51:34 -0700

350,000 people have taken to the streets of Sligo town in the annual gathering for the Fleadh Cheoil or music festival. (See YouTube video below from RTE, Ireland's national broadcast station.) Dedicated Irish music and dance lovers from as far away as ...

The Clare People

The Clare People
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 07:36:55 -0800

Johnny Moynihan has a back catalogue that includes Sweeney's Men, Planxty, De Danann and much more. Ahead of a reunion tour of Sweeney's Men that begins in Spanish Point this Saturday night the legendary troubadour who helped form the Dubliners ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 17:02:11 -0700

While the town waited yesterday afternoon for President Michael D Higgins to arrive and start Fleadh Cheoil 2014, a group of young buskers gave a taste of what was to come at the feast of traditional Irish music. The children playing a selection of ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight