Fleadh Goes North, The

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20130823In August 2013 Londonderry hosts the all-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. The ten day spectacle, which combines performance with competition, is the biggest traditional music festival in the world and is the embodiment of Irish cultural identity.|This is the first time the event has ever been held north of the Irish border - in the UK.|Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected from all over the world and this is likely to be one of the most ambitious public events in Northern Ireland's history. It also takes place during the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture year.|But the 2013 all-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil did not have an easy birth. Initially the Ulster Council of organisers, Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann, refused to back the plan to hold the event in Northern Ireland. Executive members said they would not be able to support the bid due to the potential threat posed by dissidents. There was also criticism from some quarters about an Irish cultural event being held effectively under the auspices of the "UK" City of Culture. But eventually the event was given the green light.|Peter Curran follows the twists and turns of bringing the Fleadh Cheoil north.