Fleadh Weekly Update No 12 – Clare Champion

17 June 2016


“With me tent and me groundsheet rolled up tight,
I like to hit Lisdoon, in around Friday afternoon”
– Christy Moore

The tradition of heading off to the Fleadh with a tent and a few bob in the pocket dates back to the earliest Fleadhanna. It was an exciting and liberating experience and happily the tradition continues to flourish. Today, it is more organised and with issues of health and safety to be dealt with, pitching the tent in any field is no longer an option. Approximately 5,000 people will be accommodated in Ennis through campervan sites and campsites. When the Fleadh was announced and the committees were set up, Consulting Engineer Paddy Coleman was appointed as Chairman of the Camping and Campervan Sub-committee.

Five sites have been identified in various locations to accommodate the tents and the campervans. All these sites require facilities such as water, lighting, power supplies, toilets/showers and first aid cover. They also have to be accessible to the town where the events are taking place. Some of the sites are within walking distance and the sites which are a little further out will be serviced with a park and ride universal accessible bus service. The five sites are located as follows:

Avenue United Soccer Club is a camping site with car parking facilities. It is the only camp site located on the North side of the town (on the Tulla Road at rear of Rosslevan shopping centre). It will have a park and ride accessible bus service for the duration of the Fleadh. This site can accommodate 156 tents and 250 car parking spaces

Clarecastle GAA Club is the largest site with Family camping, Campervan parking, general camping and car parking facilities are available. The site is very well set out with the various occupancies well separated from one another. It will have a park and ride accessible bus service for the duration of the Fleadh. This has accommodation for 1,150 tents, 78 motorhomes and 1,172 car parking spaces.

Éire Óg GAA Club has car parking for 144 cars within walking distance to the town centre 

Ennis Rugby Club is family camper van parking only. It is adjacent to the Ennis Showgrounds and is within walking distance to the centre of town. Ennis RFC can take 62 motorhomes. Car-parking is available in Ennis Showgrounds.


The last site is a boutique camping site located on the grounds of St Flannan’s College. This site will provide camping and car parking facilities and it is within walking distance to the town centre. 72 tents and 77 car parking spaces will be accommodated at St. Flannan’s.

The camp sites will be set out in accordance with the ‘Code of Practice’ which sets out the requirements for camping and camper van facilities for events like Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The document is entitled ‘Code of Practice for Safety at Outdoor Pop Concerts and other outdoor musical events’ and was drawn up by the Department of Education in 1996.

All camp sites will be set out in corrals in a grid format with each corral containing a maximum of 9 tents. All tents will be separated from each other by a distance of 3 metres and each corral will be separated from other corrals by 6 metres. All camper vans will be set out with a min of 6 metres between camper van units.

Campfires and cooking will not be permitted within the camping areas, also glass bottles and drinking glasses will not be permitted within the camp sites. All sites will be fully supervised during the Fleadh. All sites will participate in the Green Fleadh with recycling of waste a priority. They will also be part of the Accessible Fleadh as the park and ride buses will be fully accessible for all Fleadh visitors.

As part of the Event Licence granted by Clare Co. Council, the Fleadh is required to address a number of Health & Safety issues. These include:

Campsite Stewards will be provided with distinctive readily identifiable high visibility jackets which clearly indicate the duty they are performing. Private PSA registered professional security personnel will be employed to ensure appropriate management of the various campsites proportionate to the numbers attending.

First Aid provisions will be provided on all Motor home and camp site. The level of medical/first aid provision will be in accordance with HSE requirements and guidance for outdoor crowd events.

Adequate numbers of toilers and washbasins will be provided in accordance with the Code of Practice for Safety at Outdoor Pop Concerts and other musical events.

Fool may be provided at campsites in the form of casual trading or from in-situ facilities where such facilities exist.

Portable lighting will be located at key locations which will be activated during all the hours of darkness as appropriate in order to provide basic lighting to ensure safe access and egress.

Users of the campsites will be given recycling facilities to prevent the build-up of litter and the campsite will be checked regularly by Fleadh Personnel to ensure there is no build-up of debris or refuse.

A two man tent is perfect for one person but once you are both inside with all your kit there will be little room for lying down comfortably! Always choose a tent that is one person bigger. If you’ve never pitched a tent or have brought a new tent, it’s a good idea to try pitching and packing up the tent before you go. A sleeping mat should be part of your festival camping kit. Camping mats are lightweight, so not too heavy to carry from the car compared to an airbed. Don’t arrive in the evening and expect there to be any decent spots left; arrive as early as you can to bag the best pitch. Keep that valuable musical instrument with you at all times!