Passengers at Shannon Airport were left in no doubt that the biggest traditional Irish music event of the year will get underway in Co Clare in just over a weeks time, writes Pat Flynn.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2017 will be held in Ennis from Sunday August 13th to 21st and travellers at the midwest airport were treated to a spectacle as over 100 ‘under-cover’ dancers stepped out of the crowd to perform.
Disguised as airport workers including cleaning staff and security personnel, the dancers aged between 6 and 16 years old, gradually emerged from corners of the packed departures hall and kicked up their heels as traditional music was played over the airport speakers.
The dancers, from the John Fennell School of Set Dancing based in Kilrush, had been practising for the past week for this mornings event. They wore Clare GAA jerseys and danced in front of hundreds of passengers.
The flash mob event was organised by award-winning local radio station Clare FM to highlight their planned coverage of this years Fleadh.
Following the success of last years event, the Co Clare town will host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for a second consecutive year before it moves to Drogheda in 2018.
From Monday August 14th, Clare FM will host a lunchtime session from a marquee outside the Ennis town centre studios. The station’s weekday traditional Irish music programme, The West Wind, will also broadcast nightly from the marquee.
Clare FM’s Head of Operations Padraic Flaherty said: “This event was organised to launch Clare FM’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann schedule. This Flash Mob has been weeks in the making and we are thrilled with how it turned out."
"Special praise is needed for the wonderful kids that took part who are all great dancers, a massive thank you to their parents aswell. Without John Fennell is would not have been possible,” Mr Flaherty said.
One man, who was returning home to the US said: “It was incredible. We didn’t know what was happening. We don’t have this kind of thing in the States. It was a nice send-off after our vacation."
"reported by the Irish examiner"