Leitrim Festival

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TOES were tapping as crowds gathered to enjoy Liatroim Fontenoys GAC August Festival.
Headline artists included Derek Ryan and The Nooks as well as Hugo Duncan’s live broadcast in the marquee.
The Outlook caught up with festival-goers as they soaked up the country music atmosphere.
BBC presenter Hugo Duncan, who has been entertaining crowds for the last number of years, says there is always a good turnout.
He added: “It is great fun and organisers always put on a good feed too. The funny thing is that I have been here for the last few years and haven’t come in the same road yet.
“I love getting out and about for an outside broadcast and all year we get requests from people and it is at events like this that I actually get to meet these people in real life.”
Katesbridge woman Margaret McKinstry, who was accompanying a group from Bardan Cottage in Newcastle, was enjoying Uncle Hugo’s show.
She said: “I brought our clients down today to the festival and it is always a good day out for everyone. They really enjoy the music and getting out too.
“This is our first year of many for the clients and we will definitely be back again. It has been a fantastic day so far and seeing the smile on their faces has been lovely, they are really enjoying themselves.”
Club member and festival organiser, Tony Clarke said he has enjoyed seeing the festival go from strength to strength over the last 24 years.
The Leitrim man added: “I am one of the organisers for the festival and started the idea for it in 1995 as a fundraiser.
“Some of the big bands that we have had over the years have been a real highlight and Hugo Duncan is always very good fun and he brings a big crowd.
“There are eight of us on the organising committee but all of the local club members make a big contribution in bringing everything together for the festival.”
Tony says the festival has always been trouble free and he is looking forward to celebrating 25 years in 2019.
“The festival is something that we are very proud of and as a committee we always hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable few days,” he added.
Orla McCartan (28) from Aughlisnafin has been coming to the festival since she was a young girl.
She said: “I have gone every year with my mum and dad. I love the music and the craic and meeting new people. It has turned into a bit of a family tradition.
“My mum and dad love country music and listen to Hugo Duncan every day. The festival is always a good day out.”
Orla says she has particularly enjoyed this year’s festival, adding: “It has been brilliant and the best part is all the country artists that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen before. We will definitely be back next year.
“It is an annual event for our family and something we would plan for during the year to come here.”
Teresa McLaughlin from Kilcoo and her daughter, Maria Douglas from Newcastle, were also enjoying the show, along with Maria’s six-month-old daughter, Karla May Douglas.
Teresa said: “This is our first time coming to see Hugo live and today has been fantastic. It has been such a good atmosphere and everyone has been such good fun.
“We both love country music and also the dancing too and Karla May clapped along, she loves Hugo!”
The local mother and daughter said they will definitely be back next year, adding: “We have met people from all over today such as Lisburn, Omagh and Birmingham.
“People come from all over and Hugo attracts such a big crowd. The festival atmosphere is brilliant and we would really encourage people to come along next year.”

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