Fleadh Weekly Update No 13 – Clare Champion

24 June 2016


Fleadh Stewards

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Inis 2106 will consist of competitions, workshops, concerts, lectures and “round the clock” musical entertainment in the pubs and on the streets of the Ennis. The Fleadh must appear to ‘flow seamlessly’ throughout the week and in order to ensure that this happens, stewarding of events and marshalling of crowds will be critical. The Organising Committee is faced with the task of organising all aspects of this great festival so that it will be remembered as ‘The Best Fleadh Ever”. It is also very important to present a good image of Ennis in the process.


Role of the Steward

The role of the steward is to assist with the organisation and management of events. Some stewards will have vast experience in fulfilling these roles, particularly in facilitating competitions at Fleadhanna down through the years. Others will be engaged in various activities such as assisting in managing car parking areas, general crowd control and providing direction and advice to visitors. With 400,000 people expected over nine days, good crowd management is essential for public safety as well the enjoyment and exhilarating pleasure that many get from attending Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann year after year.


The Chief Steward

The Chief Steward will be responsible for the co-ordination of all stewards for the nine days of the Fleadh. Coordination with the Emergency services will be a key aspect of the stewarding function. The Chief Steward has a number of key roles including the following:


Selection of Stewards

1500 volunteers will be required for the nine days of the Fleadh and a programme of recruitment is well under way. Sharon Meaney, Manager of Clare Volunteer Centre, assisted by Dolores O’Halloran, has responsibility for coordinating the search for 1500 volunteers on behalf of the Fleadh Committee. The stewards will be drawn from this resource. The Fleadh has recently sought and generously received the support of Clare GAA in assisting with the recruitment process. The GAA are hugely skilled in an array of volunteering activities including stewarding roles. The success of the Fleadh is dependent upon real team spirit and the Clare Volunteer Centre’s aim is to build a team with strong leaders and people committed to making this the best Fleadh ever. People interested in volunteering should contact the Clare Volunteer Centre on 065 68 66 800 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or register on www.fleadhcheoil.ie 


Briefing & Training

Many stewarding volunteers will have relevant experience in similar roles and these skills will be identified and utilised where they exist. Event specific training and instructions will be provided to all stewards and volunteers. The Event Safety Officer will be involved in the training of stewards. The Chief Steward will be responsible for ensuring that all other key information is relayed to stewards both in the lead up to and during the event. It is likely that the Chief Steward will attend daily high level meetings and will in turn relay the required information to stewards via a rank structure.


Valuing the Stewards

The importance of the Stewards in the smooth running of the Fleadh cannot be overstated. It is the expressed intention of the Fleadh Committee that they do not place themselves or any other person in danger or harm during the course of their work. For this reason, training of volunteers has a priority focus on Health, Safety and Welfare. The Stewards are asked to take due account and consideration of what they have learned in training but also accept the briefings and instructions from the Chief Steward, Safety Officer, Gardaí, Fire Authorities as well as medical authorities and associated voluntary bodies. The Stewards will also be expected to report all accidents and incidents to the appropriate person or authority in accordance with their instructions. The will also be required to wear allocated personal protective and identification equipment and clothing.


Allocation of Stewards

This will be achieved by agreement with the venue and the events safety committee. It is the intention of the organisers to deploy suitably trained stewards to all the various venues and events, that come within the remit of the Fleadh. In all of this flexibility is key. Areas where stewards will be deployed include the following:

  • Opening Parade
  • All Concerts/ Performances at the Gig Rigs and Domes
  • At Venues – as Managers and Controlling Entrances/Exits
  • To assist Gardaí at designated traffic control points on the ‘Ring Road’, and other selected junctions, to ensure continuous traffic flow and to prevent unauthorised access to restricted areas
  • Pedestrian Street Management: Manning ‘barriers’ and directing all pedestrian movement in the centre of town
  • To provide continuous ‘situation reports’ of activities and movement in the town
  • All ‘Comhaltas’ Car & Bus Parks
  • To other areas/situations that may arise for the duration of the Fleadh