11 September 2011
Efforts at attracting Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2012 to Ennis for the first time in 35 years have proved unsuccessful. A meeting of the Ardchomhairle of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held in Dublin on Saturday, 10th September has voted instead to award the festival to Cavan.
The outcome came as a huge disappointment to the Working Group established under the auspices of the Ennis based Abbey Branch of Comhaltas over a year ago for the purpose of preparing and presenting the bid. The Working Group, chaired by Micheál Ó Riabhaigh comprised representatives of Comhaltas, State Agencies, Local Authorities, An Garda Síochána, as well as Business, Tourism and Community Interests. Members of the Ennis bid Working Group had travelled to Comhaltas headquarters in Monkstown for the decision which was greeted with an understandable sense of disappointment when the result of the vote was announced.
Speaking after the announcement, Mr. Ó Riabhaigh congratulated Cavan on its success and wished them well with the Festival. He also paid tribute to the extraordinary commitment of the members of the Working Group and acknowledged the significant resources provided by the various bodies in compiling such a professional bid over the past 12 months while very much regretting that the Working Group's efforts did not meet with the success which they deserved. Despite the result of the vote however, Mr. Ó Riabhaigh was convinced that nothing more could have been done by the Working Group and all those who had supported their efforts, to bring Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2012 to Ennis.
Noting that many members of the Trad Community nationally and internationally had expressed delight on hearing of the Ennis bid, Mr. Ó Riabhaigh commented that the town could and should be justifiably proud of the high regard and affection in which it is held by musicians and music lovers worldwide. He also emphasised the sense of purpose and focus that the bid had generated, and that this energy and drive would serve both the town and county well in the future with a template now in place for bringing major festivals to the region.