Crawley Fleadh 2006 and RTE Radio Show Review

Fleadh 2006The annual Crawley Fleadh (pronounced Flar) kicked off last Saturday week and concluded on Sunday with free Irish dance classes for youngsters. The Fleadh was the third celebration of Irish culture taking place at venues throughout the town.

The opening night concert was an eclectic start to a week of events aimed at broadening awareness of the Irish in Britain, organised by the Celtic and Irish Cultural Society. and featured live music from Sateen and Fairtrade plus Irish dancing from the Andromeda School of Irish Dancing. MC for the night was television presenter Alan Ennis and additional material was provided by Marie Aine Dhrainne in both English and Irish Gaelic. The event was opened by Amanda Bane from the Irish Embassy and the acting Mayor, Chris Redmayne.

One of the highlights of the Fleadh is Gaelic Football and Hurling coaching in local schools. It gave young children an opportunity to learn distinctly Irish sports for the first time in the town’s history. The Fleadh also held Irish Art classes plus story telling.

Set dancing, Irish language and cookery classes were also held during the week. Ryder Cup head chef, Frank Coughlan, introduced visitors to some culinary details inspired by Irish cooking traditions on Tuesday Night. The Fleadh also re-launched Irish language classes which will take place fortnightly. The Set Dancing takes place weekly.

The award winning Nomadic Theatre Company brought the dramatised fictional meeting of Patrick Kavanagh and Brendan Behan, Rare ‘Oul Times, to the town on Friday evening. The play is romp of argument and conversation between two of Ireland’s famous playwrights. The actors had previously taken the play all over the world.

The Saturday Night of the Fleadh provided an evening dance focused on Irish country music at the Emerald Club. Music was provided by Sham.

The Tavern on the Green, Pound Hill, was host of “The Irish Experience” radio programme on Thursday 30 November. Paschal Mooney, former RTÉ presenter and now Senator in the Irish upper house will be presented the show entitled “The Irish Experience”. Music was provided by Blackthorne, Brogue and the Celtic Colleens. Irish dancing from the O’Brien School of Irish Dancing was also on show. The programme included interviews with local people and is due for broadcast later in December.

The “Irish Experience” is a four-part programme looking at the Irish living in England. Other programmes are to be recorded in Manchester, Newcastle and London. The recording will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Friday 15 December at 9pm. RTÉ Radio can be received on Sky Radio 160 and Longwave 252.

The Fleadh was funded by profits from the Crawley Irish Festival, sponsors and the Irish government Dion Fund. Photos from the events can be found at

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