RTÉ.ie Radio 1: Documentary on One - After the Fleadh

A documentary on the 1969 Fleadh Cheoil na hireann was held in Cashel, Co. Tipperary and this is the story of what happened that year.

The Fleadh Cheoil (Festival of Music) is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

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 covers the US eastern seaboard, eastern Canada and the Maritimes. The Midwest Fleadh 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 level. 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.

There are numerous categories of both instrument playing, singing, dancing - each being held for all age groups.

First broadcast 1969.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/radio-documentary-fleadh-cheoil-na-heireann.html