As Fleadh Cheoil na Éireann 2018 kicks offs in Drogheda, the President of Drogheda and District Chamber, Shona McManus has praised the enormous volume of work undertaken by Louth Co.Council, Comhaltas and the 2018 Fleadh organising committee along with a myriad of volunteers, homeowners and others, including Chamber members who have made Drogheda “Fleadh ready.”
“Drogheda has never looked better, cleaner and smarter as we prepare for upwards of 400,000 visitors arriving over a week of “ceol agus craic,” showcasing to the world the best of Irish traditional music, culture and the arts,” said Shona, adding “it’s a great privilege for Drogheda to have been selected as the first venue on the North East coast to host Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann both this year and next.
Several members of Drogheda Chamber have played a key role in bringing the Fleadh here including Past Presidents Padraic Kierans, Deputy Director, Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann Drogheda 2018 and Eddie Phelan, Chairman of the Accommodation Committee who have been active in the planning of this enormous event that’s the equivalent of five or six Slane concerts rolled into one week!”
This year, as part of the Chamber’s contribution to the Fleadh, it is launching the Third Edition of “Welcome to Drogheda,” a superbly designed 48 page full colour visitor guide.
Shona said that along with the expected 400,000 Irish and foreign visitors, across the world a multiple of that will “tune in” on http://www.tg4.tv and get updates from other media. “The Fleadh provides Drogheda and its people with a unique opportunity to be showcased across the world – our historic town; our wonderful world class heritage and most of all, our talented people. Drogheda is a special location where a great future meets an ancient past, and for the week, as always, every one of us is an Ambassador for Drogheda, welcoming and helping visitors, many of whom may be visiting us for the first time. We only get one chance to make a first impression, so let’s all get out and enjoy the Fleadh; make new friends visiting Drogheda or Ireland for the first time and make Drogheda memorable together!” urged Shona.
Chamber member and local businessman Niall Kierans offered some advice to regular Drogheda shoppers. “My advice would be simply ‘shop early’- that’s earlier in the week and early in the morning as we approach the peak visitor numbers at the weekend. Then, when the shopping is done, local people can get out and enjoy the many spontaneous and formal events happening both on the streets and in the many venues throughout Drogheda. Check too what hours your retailers are open during the Fleadh – several are extending their opening hours, and look out for elderly or infirm neighbours who may need help with their shopping” said Niall.
“The business community is delighted to welcome so many visitors and we’re confident the experience they have at the Fleadh will see them coming back again to spend more time here to discover the wider Boyne Valley. That’s not just good for business, it’s also good for creating much needed local employment. Drogheda and the Boyne Valley have enormous potential to grow tourist numbers as well as visitors from across the island – and Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann is going to play a key role in doing that,” concluded Chamber President, Shona McManus.