Minister of State Peter Burke, centre, with Fleadh organising committee chair Joe Connaire and vice chair Willie Penrose.

Fleadh highlighting what a great town Mullingar is, says Burke

"The pictures and videos being shared across the country are highlighting what we have known for a long time; what a great town and people we have in Mullingar."

That's according to Minister of State Peter Burke, who says that the positive PR generated by the Fleadh will be felt for years to come.

"We spoke about the buzz and excitement that would be around the town in the months and weeks ahead of the Fleadh but I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the transformation and the celebrations that have been ongoing, up and down every street since last week.

"From impromptu gatherings on street corners to organised mass concerts accommodating thousands, the effort and attention to detail by all involved have made the Fleadh an unforgettable event. The pictures and videos being shared across the country are highlighting what we have known for a long time; what a great town and people we have in Mullingar.

"From all members of the committee, to the thousands of volunteers, the outdoor staff in Westmeath County Council, our business community and the locals who have welcomed people from across the globe, offered their advice, friendship and in many cases their homes and their hospitality. Without these people, it would have been a very different kind of celebration and not offered the unique experience we have all shared.

"The buzz even among the volunteers is fantastic, and seeing how happy our visitors are and hear the chat and laughter among families and groups is a source of pride to all the volunteers and the wider Mullingar community.

"I was delighted to welcome and accommodate a Japanese band who play Irish folk music, The Emerald Isle, who I met and was impressed with when I was in Japan for St Patrick’s Day. They have had a fantastic trip and outlined how they have made memories in Mullingar that will last a lifetime. I was also happy to be able to secure an additional €150,000 to cover some of the many associated costs borne by the Fleadh Committee. With inflation and the rise in the price of materials and services, the cost has been high but I think we can all agree that we received value for money and the success of the week will pay dividends in the future. It has been said the town could benefit to the tune of €30 million over the week, giving our businesses a much needed boost after the tough covid period, and also locals a focal point to meet up with friends and family and celebrate all we have to offer.

"We have reminded people from all over the country how centrally we are located, the quality of food, drink and services we have on offer and what a good time can be had in our hometown.

"Many have said to me already they will be back next year, or will make return trips to Mullingar in the future. After the long wait through the pandemic, and disappointment two years in a row, the experience in 2022 has been made all the sweeter. To look out at the thousands on the street and the show we have put on, you cannot but be filled with pride and all we can say now is, volunteers and staff take a bow, roll on Fleadh Cheoil Mullingar 2023," he said.