26 Sept 2022

Cancelled for the first time in its 70-year history - Fleadh Cheoil goes virtual for 2020

Cancelled for the first time in its 70-year history - Fleadh Cheoil goes virtual for 2020

Fleadh2020 hosts Dáithí Ó Sé & Doireann Ní Ghlacáin. Photo: Eamonn Ward

This year was due to be a big year for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and the town of Mullingar - dubbed ‘The Homecoming,’ the 2020 Fleadh was set to return to the place where it all began back in 1951.

Because of Covid-19, however, the event has been cancelled for the first time in its 70-year history. But as one door closes, another opens: Fáilte go Fleadh2020!

Fleadh2020 is a series of programmes which will be broadcast on four consecutive evenings from August 6th to 9th on TG4 at 9.30pm. The programmes will be coming to our screens from Mullingar where this year’s Fleadh Cheoil was due to take place.

The four 90-minute programmes will contain engaging, unmissable entertainment for the hundreds of thousands of people who would have found themselves in Mullingar this August. Fleadh2020 is a unique, one-off series of programmes where entertainment and inclusivity are at its very core. Presented in a new format, and available to view online, each of the programmes will be rooted in the traditions of the Fleadh.

TG4’s series will feature musicians from all provinces and from the Diaspora. These include, Beoga, Mick Flannery & Susan O’Neill, Steve Cooney, Seamus Begley and family, Liz and Yvonne Kane & dancer Nathan Pilatske, Matt Molloy and John Carty, Sí Fiddlers- Donegal women fiddlers including Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh, 2018 All-Ireland winners-Blackwater Céilí Band, Glackin family including presenter Doireann, Four Men and a Dog, Eamonn MacDonncha & family, David Geaney, Ryan Molloy and Fergal Scahill, the Droney family, Aedmar O’Connor, last year’s u18 champions Crossfields Céilí Band, Reelig, Attracta Brady and friends, u12 fiddle winner 2019 Laoise Ní Chinnéide, Aoife Cunningham-Damaris Woods-Jack Fitzpatrick and their teacher Kieran Hanrahan, Fitzgibbon Family from Limerick, Bofield CCE, composer Michael Rooney and many more.

Footage of musicians from around the world will also feature over the four programmes. These include a session with Irish musicians based in Brisbane, Frankie McCormick -a singing priest in New York will make an appearance as will Frank McArdle and the Irish Minstrels branch in Glasgow and we have an all Japanese céilí band from Tokyo performing.

Each programme will also have a reflective segment presented by Kieran Hanrahan, where each night a different set of panellists discuss the relevance and significance of the Fleadh to each region. These discussions will highlight the impact of the Fleadh on the local and wider Fleadh community.

Presented by Doireann Ní Ghlacáin, Daithi O Sé and Céilí House’s Kieran Hanrahan Fleadh2020 will air on TG4 for four consecutive nights, from August 6th to 9th at 9.30pm.

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