Launch Night 2014 Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí
Kerry Coast Hotel Cahersiveen
31st May 2014

The Launch of this years Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí took place in the Kerry Coast Hotel Cahersiveen on Saturday night last 31st May. Mary Sheehan Chairperson of this years Fleadh Cheoil Committee addressed the large gathering who turned up for this very important event in Kerry Comhaltas. Mary thanked everyone that turned up and was delighted to see a great local support. She also welcomed everyone to Cahersiveen and she said she was looking forward to this years Fleadh Cheoil which will be held from the 18th to 22nd June. She thanked their guests on the night Minster Jimmy Deenihan, Tony O Connor Chairman of Kerry County Board of Comhaltas, Tadhg Creedon Secretary Kerry County Board of Comhaltas and Catherine Coffey Chapter 23 of the Credit Union Main Sponsor of this years Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí. She said "tonight is a night when we welcome Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí to Cahersiveen" and it has been a great achievement for their branch of Comhaltas CCE Barr na Sraide to host this prestigious event. She said the last time that Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí was held in Cahersiveen was in 1997 and she said it was a very successful one and she is in no doubt that this years event will be as good if not better. She thanked all the committee members that has gone before the present committee and who have laid a great platform for them. She said without their interest and enthusiasm and keeping the tradition alive and spreading the culture and encouraging new members tonight would not have been possible. She welcomed Frank O Leary who was the first Chairman of the Cahersiveen Branch. She said she would like to sincerely thank everyone who helped them since they took on the role of stageing this years event. She thanked everyone for spreading the word about this years event coming to Cahersiveen. They have great community Spirit in the area, the people help each other and this has helped them to host this years Fleadh. She thanked her committee for their hard work and committment and said they all worked very hard as a team and should be very proud of themselves and should look forward to a great Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí. She also thanked the local Branch members for all their support during the last few months. She finished by saying a hugh Thank you to their sponsors who have been very generous in their support and said it would not have been possible without their help.

Next to address the launch was Chairman of the Kerry County Board of Comhaltas Mr Tony O Connor. He said that they were absolutely delighted to be in Cahersiveen. He said the Fleadh has been in North Kerry for the last 4 years and when the request came in from CCE Barr na Sraide Cahersiveen to host Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí 2014 it was accepted with no hesitation at County Board level. He said the first time they travelled to Cahersiveen they met with a very energetic committee and they have continued right through to this day. He said they have visited Coláiste na Sceilge where all the competitions will be held and the support they have received from Principal John O Connor and his staff have been very supportive. Mr Tony O Connor said a fine School with great facilities and great support and they are very grateful to John O Connor and his staff. He congratulated the school on been the first Secondary School in Kerry to win the Active Flag. This year there will be over 820 entries in Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí an increase of over 100 on last year, and a total of over 2000 competitors. He said it was a credit to all the branches in Kerry to have this amount of entries and competitors at this years Fleadh. 23 branches around the County do trojan work providing venues getting teachers, health and safety, Child Protection and alot more. He said the aim for any competitor is to try and get to an All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, and we in Kerry are very fortunate that we get there alot of the time, and return home with All Ireland Medals. He said he wanted to wish all those who will be competing in this years Kerry Fleadh the best of luck.This year they will have to travel a very short distance to this years Munster Fleadh as it will be held in Killarney and those who qualify from Munster will then travel to Sligo for the All Irleand Fleadh Cheoil. The Fleadh is also very important to those who are not interested in competitions as they can take part with their branch in the outdoor activities over the weekend. He said he now sees alot of retired people taking up Music and Dancing which is great as these people were unable to take it up while they were working. This is a great outlook for them. Mr O Connor heard on a programme during the week that one of the best ways to promote Mental Health was through Music Song and Dance. "The Fun The Enjoyment The Health". He said that the street entertainment over the weekend most of it free which is fantastic to see on the street and he thanked the Sponsors for the help and only for these people it would be very difficult to have such entertainment and run the Fleadh over the weekend. He thanked Catherine Coffey Chapter 23 of the Credit Union who are once again the main Sponsor of this years Fleadh Cheoil Ciarrai. He said they were very appreciative of their support. He also thanked the Sheehy Family Milltown/Ballyheigue for their generous sponsorship towards the outside broadcast of Radio Kerry. Andrew Sheehy was the first Chairman of Comhaltas in Kerry in 1959 and passed away at a very young age. Funding also comes from Meithal which is from Minster Deenihan's Department and he thanked him for that. He also thanked all the other sponsors locally, Kerry Council Council, Kerry Group, Conradh na Gaeilge, Danny O Sullivan Group, Fesco, Kerry Coast Hotel, Ring of Kerry Hotel and O Connor printing. He said the local committee were very grateful as well as the County Board. He thanked everyone who helped in the Church gate collections and that they really appreciate the help and effort by so many people. The amount of fund raising done by the local committee was hugh from Ceili to Darts night, Monster raffle, Fun Runs, No Uniform day in the schools and many more. There is no doubt the support is there. He thanked the County Secretary for the hugh amount of work he puts in. The work of a County Secretary running a County Board is enormous and he would like to thank him and his wife Margaret. He also mentioned the Fas scheme, he said that Shelia Cantillon is part of this scheme and does a lot of work and said that this scheme was very valuable to organisations. He also thanked the Secretaries of all the branches. Finally he thanked the committee for the trojon work and he looks forward to very successful County Fleadh in Kerry in 2014.

Finally Minster Jimmy Deenihan took the podium and thanked the committee for inviting him to Cahersiveen for this Launch of Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí. He acknowledged the amount of work it takes to host a Fleadh and he said its a big Challange as he saw what it takes over the last numbers of years when Causeway and Ballybunion hosted this event. He said that Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí was now a major event in the Calander and this is reflected in the number of entries at this years Fleadh. He congratulated Mary Sheehan Chairperson Helen Coffey Secretary and all the Committee on the trememdious work they have done. He said that Barr na Sraide was 40 years in existance and he was interested to hear that his good friend Frank O Leary was the first Chairman of the branch. Frank was a great footballer and they travelled alot together during their sporting years. He said Kerry and Listowel have hosted 14 All Ireland Fleadh Cheoils and Listowel became the centre of the All Ireland Fleadh for a number of years. Since Listowel started hosting this major event in the 70's, the All Irleand Fleadh Cheoil has gone from strenght to strength. Traditional Music transends very type of person, thats the strength of Traditional Irish Music. In Cahersiveen there is a great tradition, and it is steeped in Culture. he was delighted to see so many young people at the launch. Mr Deenihan also spoke about the many Musicians and Singers of the past who have come from the area and who continued the tradition down through the years. He also commented on the Seisiun taking place in South Kerry during the Summer and that it was a great event travelling aound the different towns in South Kerry Region. Minster Deenihan said that this years Fleadh would attract large numbers of people to the area from all over the County and beyond, and that it was going to be very successful. The Kerry Organisation is very strong and congratulated the great work been done by the Officers of the Kerry County Board, and all the work is voluntarily. It is very important to recognise the sponsors and thanked them again.
On behalf of himself and the Department he wished everyone every success in this years Fleadh Cheoil Ciarraí 2014

John Stack