The Westport CCÉ 12-15 céilí band at the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil.

Mayo Fleadh a huge success in Westport

HUNDREDS of traditional musicians, singers and dancers from across the west descended on Westport over the weekend for a hugely enjoyable and successful 2023 Mayo Fleadh Cheoil.

Mayo Comhaltas chairperson Seamus Cawley lauded Westport and the local Fleadh committee, saying they had done Trojan work over the past few months.

“These things don’t just happen without phenomenal work from volunteers in the host town and Westport can be very proud of what they achieved over the past week. This was a brilliant Fleadh and everyone is going home with great memories,” commented Cawley after the final competition concluded.

Almost 1,000 competitors took part in the music, singing and dancing competitions in four different venues over the weekend, with the brilliant sunshine adding to a memorial festival and celebration of Irish culture.

“Our numbers are back to pre-pandemic figures this year and that is great to see. Like every other organisation we have had a few tough years but thankfully all our Comhaltas branches have survived and come back stronger than ever before,” Cawley told those in attendance at a packed Dome Suite in the Castlecourt Hotel on Sunday evening.

Speaking after the final competition, Westport Comhaltas chairperson Olivia Thornton thanked everyone in the community for making the fleadh such a wonderful success.

She said: “It has been an amazing week and I hope everyone enjoyed it. The Fleadh committee put a brilliant programme of events in place around the competitions. We had concerts, competitions, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, walks, talks, busking and loads of music sessions.

“It was unreal to see the town humming all weekend and it is a great start to the tourism season in Westport.”

Mayo Fleadh chairperson Piaras Ó Raghallaigh said hosting the Mayo Fleadh took a mammoth team effort from the committee, the community and all the Comhaltas branches in Mayo.

“There are so many people to thank for their support over the past few weeks and months. Everyone in the community and county helped and that is why the 2023 Mayo Fleadh in Westport will be remembered for years to come.

“The Mayo Fleadh committee is so grateful to everyone and it just shows what can be achieved when people work together,” commented Ó Raghallaigh.

A full list of the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil winners will be available on the Mayo Comhaltas website in the coming days.

Newly crowned Mayo Rose of Tralee Kate Heneghan with Westport CCE chairperson Olivia Thornton at the Mayo Fleadh.
A mighty music session in Blouser's Bar.
Archbishop of Tuam Francis Duffy attended the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil Mass on Saturday evening.
Former Mayo GAA star Kevin Keane and Westport GAA chairperson Michael O'Brien helping out at the Mayo Fleadh.
A young busker playing a few tunes on Bridge Street in Westport.
Laoise Cawley, Tomás Ó Raghallaigh and Síofra Ní Chinnéide from Westport CCÉ took part in the trio competition at the Mayo Fleadh.
The Westport strawboys performed at the fleadh.
Three young buskers on the streets of Westport.