Féile na Sionainne to return as three day festival proves resounding success

There was a true flavour of traditional Irish music and culture during the recent Feile na Sionainne which is set to return to Athlone in 2024

There was a true flavour of traditional Irish music and culture during the recent Feile na Sionainne which is set to return to Athlone in 2024

Féile na Sionainne certainly reignited a passion for Irish culture and tradition over the course of the August bank holiday weekend and owing to its popularity and success, the appetite for its return in 2024 is one that will have to be satisfied, a spokesperson for the festival committee stated this week.

Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser, John Madden, stated that the diligent efforts of all committee members were rewarded by the success of the three day festival during which the sounds of traditional Irish music wafted through the Athlone air.

“From a well-attended meeting in early April to its close on Tuesday, August 8, those in the background did their utmost to ensure Féile na Sionainne would be a success.

“The committee was formed from an initial meeting in April and comprised numerous personnel all of whom made a worthy contribution towards the festival’s success. The committee boasted many positive attributes in terms of previous experience with regards to organisation skills, musical contacts, scheduling, fundraising, delivery of inclusive and innovative events, stewarding, political persuasion, promotions, delivery of ideas and so much more.

“With more time to plan for Feile na Sionainne 2024, it is likely that the offerings for next year will be greater, at least that is the hope of the organisers. It was a grassroots movement that planted a seed and saw Athlone imbued with a great sense of what ideas and passion can deliver.

“The overall dream is to have Athlone host the national Fleadh Ceoil na h-Eireann and also to wholly re-establish Comhaltas groups across the region. The national Fleadh’s are planned several years in advance and next year, it will be the turn of Wexford to host the national event, and it would not be beyond the realms of possibility that it will be run in the north of the country beyond that but who knows, Athlone could well be a considered option for the national organisers at some juncture following that. In the mean time, the homegrown Feile na Sionainne will keep the flag flying and build upon its initial successes.

“Over the course of the three day event in Athlone, those in attendance at the numerous events were afforded non-stop entertainment from local dance academies, ballad groups, folks singers, harpists, Comhaltas groups, bands comprising the young and the young at heart.

“The euphony of sounds drew the curious and the passionate with many people stopping by for several hours and remarking that this should now become a regular occurrence in Athlone. It was great to see the canopy area and civic square so alive with such a spectacle. This festival shall return and as the dust settles, the organisers will be evaluating it all to see what elements worked and what can be improved upon so that 2024 will be an even more vibrant occasion,” John enthused.


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