Fleadh Weekly Update No 11 – Clare Champion

10 June 2016

Fleadh Management Plan

The Event Licence

The decision by Clare County Council to approve the event licence application from Comhaltas to organise Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Inis 2106 has been has been welcomed by the Fleadh Executive Committee. It means that a significant administrative challenge had been successfully met. Clare County Council has granted a licence subject to 20 conditions. These conditions relate to areas including safety of people, health and welfare, protection of the environment and litter control as well as transport, public liability and communications. The Fleadh Committee is committed to delivering the event in the safest possible manner and issues of good organisation, traffic management, health and safety are top priorities. At the same time it is vital to maintain the spontaneity and joyous spirit that is the hallmark of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

Event Management Plan

A special Event Management Plan has been prepared which deals with issues of good planning, traffic management, health and safety, medical plan, stewarding, casual trading locations as well as setting out the locations for competitions and other events. The purpose of the plan is to provide a safe and well-ordered environment for all visitors, the people of Ennis and volunteers. The festival will be guided by all applicable legislation, codes of practice and event management best practice to ensure the highest possible standards.

Adrian Jackson has been appointed Event Controller and he will work in close co-operation with the Gardaí and the relevant statutory and other agencies. He is an experienced Event Controller at fleadhanna cheoil and other major events. His company Safety Solutions has been recognised for its competence, professionalism and ability to get everybody to work together.

Traffic Management

Crowd congestion will be one of the main safety challenges relating to the Fleadh. Some street congestion for pedestrians is anticipated. To deal with this, it may be required to implement various vehicular and pedestrian management systems. These will be decided by the Event Controller and Gardai according to needs and the co-operation of everybody will be really appreciated. It may be necessary to deploy one way pedestrianised systems from time to time. For example, Abbey Street and O’Connell Street may need to be one way at busier times.

Overall there will be access to most areas at the start of the week, with some traffic restrictions but the weekend will see a total shut down of the town centre for vehicular traffic to allow for the safe influx of pedestrians to the area. The event plan allows for deliveries and collections to and from business premises in pedestrianised streets up until 10.30am daily, beyond that the only vehicles permitted onto these streets will be emergency vehicles. This will be strictly enforced as it is not viable to allow vehicles into heavily pedestrianised streets and areas. With the help of the event organisers, other statutory agencies and volunteers the Gardaí hope that disruptions will be kept to a minimum level.

Street Furniture & Amplified Music

All street furniture including sandwich sign boards must be removed for the duration of the Fleadh to facilitate safe and effective pedestrian flows. There will be a restriction on amplified music being played on the streets and adjoining areas. The purpose of this is to create an equal space in terms of performers where amplified music will not drown out non-amplified performances. Impromptu street sessions are an integral part of the Fleadh. Also amplified music tends to lead to congestion on streets. These systems will be managed by stewards and volunteers, they will be visible in their Fleadh Hi Viz wear and everyone is requested to co-operate with them.

Broken Glass

Glass on the street from bottles and similar receptacles can cause injuries. To curtail this, all publicans will be asked not to allow glass to leave their premises; plastic glasses are the preferred option. Patrons will not be permitted to bring glass onto the streets or areas such as the Gig Rig and performance areas. There will also be checks carried out when people arrive to campsites to ensure that they are not bringing large quantities of glass bottle with them.

Medical Emergencies

There is potential for emergencies to occur at the Fleadh as with any event, a robust medical structure will be in place as well as a Medical Plan. There are a number of ambulance points designated as well as a Medical Centre at the Maria Assumpta Hall, Station Road. There will be a large contingent of medical personnel both at fixed locations and roving in busier areas.

In the event of an emergency where it is necessary to get any emergency vehicle to any location, Event Control will coordinate the operation. This will ensure a coordinated response such as getting streets cleared in advance of the emergency vehicles arriving and so forth.

The organisers propose to provide a Swiftwater & Flood first responders as water rescue craft during peak times. Visitors coming to the Fleadh should prepare for weather changes. They are also asked to bring all medications with them although it is hoped to have arrangements for a Pharmacy to open later each evening to accommodate visitor needs.

Casual Trading

There are some existing arrangements in place with Clare County Council in terms of casual trading which will most likely be observed, however additional provision will be required I order to service the needs of the Fleadh.

The Fleadh organisers have identified a number of locations for this additional casual trading, these areas include the following:

  • New Road adjacent to the Dome
  • Harmony Row
  • Abbey Street Car Park
  • Station Road
  • Parnell Street Car Park

All persons interested in casual trading at the Fleadh should contact alamarketsandevents.ie; this company are managing the casual trading provision at the Fleadh.

Traders will need to adhere to insurance cover, EHO compliance/certificates and relevant equipment such as fire extinguishers. The particular aspects for compliance will relate to the nature of trading involved. Illegal trading will be restricted as illegal trading can impact on traffic and pedestrian congestion as well as environmental health in the case of food vendors.

Further information on the organisation of the Fleadh will be available in this column over the summer and on the Fleadh website fleadhcheoil.ie