“Drogheda has never looked better, cleaner and smarter with a record breaking 500,000 visitors or more expected to arrive this week for the competitions, the ceol and the craic showcasing to the world the best of Irish traditional music, culture and the arts,” said Shona, adding “it’s a great privilege for Drogheda to have been selected as the first venue on the North East coast to host Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann for the last two years. With easy access by road, rail, airport and sea, along the M1 Corridor we’re expecting a significant number of visitors from Northern Ireland and abroad among the tens of thousands who are travelling here.”
Shona said that along with the expected 500,000 or more Irish and foreign visitors already arriving, across the world a multiple of that will “tune in” on www.tg4.tv and get updates from other media. “The Fleadh provides Drogheda and its people with a unique opportunity to be showcased across the world – our historic town; our wonderful world class heritage and most of all, our talented people. Drogheda is a special location where a great future meets an ancient past. This week, local people and their families are turning out in their thousands bringing the spirit and atmosphere of Drogheda alive. Everyone has taken on the role of “Ambassador for Drogheda,” welcoming and helping visitors, many of whom may be visiting us for the first time.” said Shona.
Chamber member and local businessman Niall Kierans offered some advice to regular Drogheda shoppers. “My advice would be simply ‘shop early’- that’s early in the morning as we approach the peak visitor numbers this weekend. Check too any temporary alterations to bus and taxi services and access points. Then, when the shopping is done, local people can get out and enjoy the many spontaneous and formal events happening both on the streets and in the many venues throughout Drogheda. Check too what hours your retailers are open during the Fleadh – several are extending their opening hours over the weekend, and look out for elderly or infirm neighbours who may need help with their shopping” said Niall.
“The business community is delighted to welcome so many visitors and we’re confident the experience they have at the Fleadh will see them coming back again to spend more time here discovering Drogheda, Co. Louth and the Boyne Valley. That’s not just good for business, it’s also good for creating much needed local employment. Drogheda and the Boyne Valley have enormous potential to grow tourist numbers as well as visitors from across the island – and Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann is playing a key role in doing that,” concluded Chamber President, Shona McManus.