GALLERY: Fleadh 2017 officially opened in Ennis

GALLERY: Fleadh 2017 officially opened in Ennis

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Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017 has been officially opened in Ennis by Lord of the Dance star Michael Flatley.

An estimated 12,000 turned out for the event which was held in the Abbey Street carpark in Ennis.

It’s the second consecutive year the Co Clare town has hosted the world’s largest traditional music festival and an estimated 400,000 are expected to visit the town over the next eight days.

After addressing the crowd and formally declaring this years event officially open, Michael Flatley played a tune on the flute and later accompanied the Tulla Ceilí Band for another piece.

Credited for revolutionising Irish dance, Flatley previously took to the stage as a competitor at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis in 1977.

World renowned Clare fiddle player Martin Hayes also performed at the opening ceremony.

The All-Ireland Fleadh has been held in Ennis on three previous occasions, last year 2016, in 1956 and 1977.

Up to 3,000 competitors will play, sing or dance for All Ireland glory in 180 competitions over the next week. They come from all over Ireland and abroad with a significant contingent from the United States.

As the opening day celebrations continue, a fireworks display will be held in Ennis later tonight

 

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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