Comhaltas rolls out the red carpet in Fleadh Cheoil Portlaoise bid

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Portlaoise trad

Orla Coughlan's fiddle classes at the Portlaoise Comhaltas Concert at St Francis School.

Comhaltas in Laois rolls out the red carpet this weekend as part of the bid to bring the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil to Portlaoise

Delegates from the Leinster Comhaltas arrive in Portlaoise on Saturday, December 1 to assess the town's bid to bring the huge national and international celebration of Irish culture to the Laois town in 2020. 

A presentation of how the town plans to host the event will be made at the Midlands Park Hotel before the delegates are brought to visit some of the venues.

Chairman of Laois Comhaltas and Portlaoise Comhaltas PJ Phelan, believes Laois is perfect for the next event, and the time is right.

“We think Laois and Portlaoise is the best venue, with our proven accessibility for big events like the Ploughing Championships and Electric Picnic.


“We have new facilities in all our new and refurbished schools in Portlaoise, which are the principal venues for competitions. We have plenty of halls and we have world-class hotels” he said.

The competition will be fierce to host the 2019 Fleadh. Each of the four provinces nominates venues. Leinster counties already bidding include Westmeath, Offaly and Wexford. 

Hosting the Fleadh requires the support of business, schools, sport and community groups. Laois County Council and Laois GAA are backing the event which also has the support of the Leinster Express.

The bid needs to be formalised by Christmas.

“This requires a massive community effort but we see it as an opportunity for all of Laois to work together on something. Even just making the bid will forge new connections countywide,” PJ said.

Laois is home to several active Comhaltas branches Portlaoise, Camross, Clonaslee, Mountmellick, Portarlington, Ratheniska and Spink.

Portlaoise hosted the Leinster Fleadh in 2011.