A MAJOR Irish cultural festival will give a €5.5 million fillip to Killarney at the end of October.
Ireland’s longest-running arts festival, Oireachtas na Samhna, will be returning to the tourist town for the first time in 92 years, attracting thousands of visitors.
Liam O Maolaodha, national director of Oireachtas na Gaeilge, said the festival would showcase the best of Irish cultural heritage.
To be based at the INEC, part of the Gleneagle Hotel complex, the programme will feature concerts, competitions in sean-nós singing, dancing, storytelling, drama and visual arts, seminars, workshops, lectures and other events.
“We are looking forward to experiencing the world -renowned Killarney hospitality and the very fine venues in the town,” Mr O Maolaodha said.
Last year’s festival, held in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, contributed €5.5m to the local economy, according to Donegal County Council, and it is estimated the 2010 festival will be worth a similar amount.
Oireachtas na Samhna has been held in different parts of the country since the end of the 19th Century.
Mayor of Killarney Donal Grady assured participants and visitors to the festival of a warm welcome in the town.
Some of the country’s top sean-nós singers will compete for the coveted Corn Uí Riada and the best of traditional freestyle dancers will take part in the sean-nós dancing finals.
Local performers young and old are honing their skills in preparation for the competitions in sean-nós singing, sean-nós dancing, violin, uilleann pipes, harp, duets and other disciplines, which will be held in venues around Killarney.
A list of the competitions is available from Oifig an Oireachtais, 6 Sráid Fhearchair, Baile Átha Cliath 2 (01 4753857) and on the festival website, www.antoireachtas.ie.
The festival will take place from Wednesday October 25 to Sunday October 31.
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