THE thousands of visitors attending the Tyrone Fleadh in Omagh this weekend could potentially provide a £800,000 boost to the local economy.
As the streets of Omagh will soon filled with the sound of instruments and singing, organisers of the festival of music are hoping the cash registers of local businesses will also be ringing in time.
To boot, as this weekend’s weather forecast already looks more than positive and with Omagh Food Festival also taking place, locals are being encouraged to come out en masse and enjoy themselves.
“The Tyrone Fleadh is an opportunity to celebrate the culture from this area in an authentic way, bringing it onto the streets via our very talented artists and ensuring it is accessible to all,” Brendan McAleer, Comhaltas Organiser in Ulster remarked.
“It also offers the people of the area and indeed across the county the opportunity to benefit from the social, cultural and economic benefits of Comhaltas and our traditional arts. The Fleadh itself is worth over £800,000 to its host economy.”
President of the Omagh Chamber of Commerce, Colm Broderick, believes too that the Fleadh is a perfect opportunity to showcase Omagh in a positive light.
He said, “Anything that brings people to the town, which will benefit the local community and businesses has to be welcomed and applauded,” he said.
“There is no doubt the Tyrone Fleadh has the potential to provide a great economic boost to the area.
“Hopefully people will be coming from further afield and staying in local hotels, supporting the local hospitality industry and visiting our shops.
“Every cup of coffee or even a postcard sold in a newsagents is all extra income.
“It is great to have this opportunity to show Omagh in a good light.
“The town has a lot to offer and hopefully the visitors will receive a great welcome, enjoy their stay and come back again to avail of the local hospitality.”
He continued, “The town hasn’t hosted the Tyrone Fleadh for many years, so I encourage everyone to come out show their support.”
Brian McKenna, chair of Omagh Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) which is hosting Fleadh Thír Eoghain this week, has encouraged everyone to “enjoy the great feel-good factor.” The local man also noted his group’s intention of hosting an all-Ireland Fleadh in the near future.
Brian said, “The sun will hopefully be shining and the streets filled with life, which will bring a great feel-good factor and economic boost to the entire town.
“The hard work and organising for this has been ongoing for the past year and we want to encourage everyone to come out and support the concerts, events, competitions and enjoy the street music, festivities and parade through the town centre this Saturday and Sunday.
“The Fleadh always creates a great buzz and with the support of the people it will be a huge success and we can then set our sights on hosting a provincial or even All-Ireland Fleadh in Omagh in the future.”