Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018, Drogheda

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12/08/2018 to 19/08/2018

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann comes to Drogheda in 2018 and brings together thousands of people from across the world for a week of exciting events dedicated to all aspects of Irish music, song and dance. For many, it is the culmination of months of hard work and practice as they compete against fellow musicians, singers and dancers to achieve the recognition of being an All-Ireland champion. For others it is a unique and welcoming festival of the best of traditional arts that offers a wide range of activities to be enjoyed by all.

At the mouth of the majestic River Boyne, that most Irish of rivers, the town is perfectly positioned to host this wonderful celebration of 'ceoil agus craic'. Not only has Drogheda Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann succeeded in bringing the Fleadh to the Boyne Valley for the first time, it has also secured its return for 2019!

To keep up to date with events, follow the Fleadh's website, as well as its social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Up-to-date accommodation lists are also included here.


Free, and with ticketed events (see below).

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann comes to Drogheda in 2018

General Inquiries



Large numbers are expected to attend the Fleadh, as they do every year. A wide range of accommodation options are available, from hotels to camp sites, as well as many rooms or houses to rent. 

Click here to download the complete Fleadh Cheoil na Éireann Accommodation Guide.

For more information click here or email accommodation@fleadhcheoil.ie 

Highlights of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2018

 To book click here

Zoë Conway & Julie Fowlis - New Songs from Irish and Scottish Gaelic Poems  

Sunday 12th August at 6:00pm in St. Peter's Church of Ireland 

Zoë Conway and Scottish singer Julie Fowlis present an intriguing project aimed at creating new songs from existing Irish and Scottish Gaelic poems. With an exciting blend of eclectic fiddle and guitar music, Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre bring to the stage sympathetic arrangements of traditional Irish music, compositions and songs, old and new. 

Fleadh Regional Showcase

Sunday 12th August at 8.00pm in the Crescent Theatre

A gala opening concert featuring the crème of talent, from the North East, including  sean-nós dancer Sibéal Davitt, celebrated fiddle player Gerry O'Connor, Ulaid; John McSherry, Dónal O’Connor and Seán Óg Graham, Drogheda’s folk/trad trio- Kern, banjo-player Stevie Dunne and many more.


Muinteras Family-themed Lunchtime Concerts

Daily, Sunday 12th- Saturday 18th August at 1.00pm in Droichead Arts Centre

Fleadh Cheoil 2018 Droichead Átha’s celebration of traditional music and its transmission within families featuring some well-known musical families from the Oriel Region - O’Connor Family (Ravensdale), O Raghallaigh Family (Rathmolyan), McGabhann Family (Baltrasna), McAdam Family (Ballybay), Byrne family (Newry) Mulligan Family (Dundalk)


Bloom of Youth Concert

Monday 13th August at 6.00pm in the Dominican Church/ St Magdalene’s

Celebrating Bliain na nÓg with a focus on County Louth’s up and coming musical talents.  Including Nós Nua – Louth Youth Folk Orchestra, Louth Harp Ensemble & All Ireland instrumentalists Sarán Mulligan (concertina) Tadhg Mulligan (fiddle / bouzouki), Conal Duffy (pipes/double bass) with special guests.


Oriel Music & Song/ Cran

Monday 13th August at 6.00pm in St Peter’s Church of Ireland

Drogheda is situated at the southern end of the ancient kingdom of ORIEL stretching northwards across borders and boundaries to Armagh.  Songs, tunes and harp music from Oriel spans the rich repertoire of traditional music handed down orally for generations, in a concert which includes lively dance tunes, elegant harp airs and a depth of songs of love and sorrow.  

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, The Voice Squad

Monday 13th August at 8.00pm in the Crescent Theatre

A truly unique evening with the most sought-after duo in Irish traditional music; the extraordinary talent that is fiddle player Martin Hayes, and master guitarist Dennis Cahill; and one of the most distinctive unaccompanied singing groups of recent times - The Voice Squad; Phil Callery, Fran McPhail and Gerry Cullen.


The Road to Lough Swilly/ An Bóthar go dtí Loch Súilí  

Tuesday 14th August at 6:00pm St Peter’s Church of Ireland

This concert will throw the spotlight on the collaborations of the composer and Aosdána member, Michael Holohan, with the acclaimed uilleann piper Mick O'Brien. The major work of the evening will be The Road to Lough Swilly/ An Bóthar go dtí Loch Súilí for uilleann pipes and string orchestra. 


BEOGA | Frankie Gavin - Toast to The Flanagan Bros.

Tuesday 14th August at 8.00pm in the Fleadh Concert Dome

A concert that will surely lift the roof off the Fleadh Dome. Beoga (Irish for ‘lively’) has been in existence for fifteen years, and in this time, they’ve produced five critically acclaimed albums, been shortlisted for a Grammy, performed with the Ulster Orchestra at the BBC Proms, and been presented with certificate of Congressional Recognition from the US House of Representatives. However, their recent collaboration with Ed Sheeran has brought them to another level and a new audience.


Annual Flanagan Brothers Concert

Wednesday 15th August at 6.00pm in St Peter’s Church of Ireland

The third Annual Flanagan Brothers Award will this year be presented to banjo legend, broadcaster, educator and traditional music advocate, Kieran Hanrahan. Kieran will be joined on the night by many of his musical friends and family, including members of the original Stockton’s Wing. Expect a unique night of music from one of the most influential people in Irish Traditional Music.


Gala evening at the Fleadh Dome

  • Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny
  • Maighread & Triona Ní Dhomhnaill
  • Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra and Band

Wednesday 15th August at 8.00pm in the Fleadh Dome

A gala evening with some of the most influential and enduring musicians and singers in Irish traditional music.

Two giants of the Irish trad scene, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny are uniting for an evening of great music, a mixture of traditional songs, and originals composed by Andy. Between them, Irvine and Lunny have been at the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney’s Men, Planxty, The Bothy Band, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island. Their unique style of accompaniment is an ongoing influence in the wider world of Irish music. Lunny and Irvine will present a programme of Irish music and Andy's songs with a bit of Eastern European music. 

Sisters Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill belong to a renowned singing family originally from the Donegal Gaeltacht.  The unique style and repertoire of traditional singing they represent so gloriously together with their distinctive unison and harmonic interpretations make their live performances unforgettable heart-rending events, and the sound of their solo, and combined voices is indescribable but lingers in the memory forever.

Grammy award winner, Moya Brennan, the Voice of Clannad and First Lady of Celtic Music, and internationally renowned harp virtuoso Cormac De Barra both come from large musical families; their mutual admiration for each other naturally developed into a stimulating musical relationship, combining the simplicity, depth and beauty of their extraordinary skills.  For this special performance they will be accompanied by Aislin on guitar bouzouki, vocals, Paul on percussion, keyboards, vocals and Lia on violin and vocals.


Fiddlers of Oriel

Thursday 16th August at 6.00pm in St Peter’s Church of Ireland

Highlighting the Oriel Region’s strong association and identity with traditional fiddle playing, and a unique opportunity to hear some of Ireland’s greatest fiddle players in concert.  Presented by Austin Dawe and featuring Brendan Larrissy, Gerry O’Connor, Donal McCague, Antoine McGabhann, Jim McKillop, Josephine Keegan and friends.


RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre with special guest Bill Whelan

Thursday 16th August at 8.00pm in the Fleadh Concert Dome

This August, and especially for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra makes a welcome return to Drogheda for a headline concert featuring soloists Zoë Conway and John McIntyre with special guest Bill Whelan, who will also perform in this programme of celebrated and much-loved works including special arrangements of new works by Zoë and John.


The Carolan Celebration: Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

Friday 17th August at 6.00pm in St Peter’s Church of Ireland

Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Chair of Music and Founder/Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, and recipient of the inaugural award Ollamh na hÉigse by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (2006), is noted for his development of a uniquely Irish traditional piano style. Mícheál makes a much-anticipated performance of this series of suites for solo piano, edited from the eighteenth century Irish harp music of Turlough O’Carolan. The music of this nomadic blind traditional harper, known simply as Carolan to his Anglo-Irish patrons, represents a sonic encodement of a rapidly changing Ireland.


National Folk Orchestra of Ireland

Friday 17th August at 8.00pm in the Fleadh Concert Dome

The Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland is made up of over sixty of the finest young traditional and classical musicians from twenty different counties in Ireland and from the U.K. This special concert with the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland and special guests, will take you on a journey through the musical and cultural landscape of Ireland honouring some of the great women and men who have helped shape and define our tradition down through the generations.


Hothouse Flowers

Friday 17th August at 10.00pm in The Crescent Theatre

Something amazing happens when Hothouse Flowers step onto the stage – something that has been shaped by over thirty years of singing and playing all over the world, yet no two shows have ever been the same. There is a sense of musical adventure - an impulse to reach new heights and depths in music where the unspoken aim is that the band and the audience become one and the world becomes a different place for a while.

Damien Dempsey and Band

Saturday 18th August at 8.00pm in The Crescent Theatre

Damien Dempsey’s importance as a singer and songwriter of great passion, conviction and beauty has never been more prominent. Dempsey achieves a feeling at his concerts that other artists can only dream of. His connection with his audience is so palpable, the most cynical of souls cannot help but be moved by the experience.


Marbhna 1916 – Requiem

A special performance of the Requiem for 1916 in Irish, composed by Odhrán Ó Casaide. This powerful piece is inspired by the original pioneering work of Seán O Riada. The Requiem sets out to explore the beauty of sean nós voice, together with chamber choir and orchestra, classical solo voices, as well as traditional and early musical instruments. 


Senior Céilí Band Competition

Sunday 19th August at 6.30pm in the Fleadh Concert Dome

All roads lead to the Fleadh Concert Dome in Dominic’s Park for a fantastic night of potent ceol and ferocious competition as the bands battle it out for ultimate All-Ireland glory.


An Teanga Beo ag an bhFleadh

Whether it’s a cúpla focal or your haon, dó, trí there will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy using the Irish language at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda. 2018 is Bliain na Gaeilge and the Irish language will be an integral part of many aspects of the Fleadh. You can see it on the signs, speak it in the cafés, sing and dance with it on the streets and be entertained as Gaeilge.


For more information on the many shows and performances, click here.

Drogheda is situated at the mouth of the Boyne River and offeres the perfect starting point for exploring explore the Boyne Valley and Ireland’s Ancient East. A number of cultural tours are available on the Fleadh website to historic sites such as Lawrence’s Gate in Drogheda, Mellifont Abbey, the Battle of the Boyne site, Monasterboice and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange and Knowth).

If you wish to explore further see www.discoverboynevalley.ie and www.irelandsancienteast.com for a wide range of amazing sites and attractions in Counties Louth and Meath. When you are in the town, call into the Drogheda Tourist Information Office, located in the historic Tholsel building on West Street. Please click here for informatuon on getting to Drogheda and parking and traffic updates.


Drogheda Fleadh Executive Committee
c/o Louth County Council
Civic Offices, Fair Street
A92 P440