Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann begins this Sunday in Ennis with an expected crowd of 400,000 set to descend on Co Clare.
Chris Droney is one of the most respected traditional Irish musicians and one of the greatest to emerge from the County. The concertina player is really looking forward to attending the Fleadh in Ennis and is expecting visitors to come to Clare from all over the world.
Now ninety one years of age Chris says all visitors will be welcomed with open arms in Clare for the most important event in the traditional music calendar.
“There’ll be a big céad míle fáilte for everyone that will come and I know they’ll come from all over the world, they’ll come from Australia, New Zealand, the States, Canada, England, they’ll come from everywhere and I know one thing there’ll be a big welcome for them in Co Clare especially in Ennis and I hope that everything will go fine and everybody will enjoy themselves”.
Bellharbour native Droney was one of the winners in the 1956 Fleadh which also took place in Ennis. He feels there has always been a strong association with music in Co Clare. “I won’t say it’s like yesterday but the Fleadh in ’56 was an incredible event. It gave a massive shot in the arm to Irish music and culture and so much happened from there”.
“The standard of music is going to be very high, a lot higher than it was when I won it in 56, the standard now will be a lot higher” he concluded.