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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019
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Fiddles at the ready: The world's biggest trad music session kicks-off in Sligo today

President Higgins will be on hand to open Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

Source: Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann/YouTube

THE ANNUAL Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann begins in Sligo today with President Michael D Higgins set to launch the week long festival of traditional music.

There are over 250 events being held over the course of the eight days in what organisers describe as the world’s biggest trad music session.

The Fleadh gets underway with a number of events happening this morning but today’s main event is the Colmcille Pageant from 3pm. It’s set to include drummers and dancers parading through the centre of the town before finishing on Stephen’s Street.

President Higgins, a long-time supporter of the Fleadh, will officially open the event at 5pm and will also open and sign a peace book that marks a  series of peace building events throughout the week of the Fleadh.

Today’s festivities are expected to create a carnival atmosphere in the town and the pedestrianised streets will play host to one of the the many sessions over the next eight days.

It’s 20 years since the Fleadh was held in Sligo and chairperson of this years festival Bartley Gavin has hailed the “wonderful work of the Sligo people” in preparation.

“It will enable us to welcome with open arms the thousands of visitors that plan to make Sligo their home for the coming week,” he says.

The Fleadh’s website has details of everything that’s going on each day of the festival and also has information on getting and staying there.

Iarnród Éireann have added additional services between Dublin and Sligo for the duration of the Fleadh.

Read: Fleadh Cheoil organisers to ‘respectfully’ return Shell funding after public outcry >

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Rónán Duffy

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