Fidelma’s reign in the world of mystery solving and literary tourism continues - with the confirmation that Feile Fidelma will again be held in Cashel in September 2016.
Organisers Cashel Arts Fest have confirmed the successful celebration of the fictional, sleuthing nun will again be held in two years time, after a wonderful weekend that saw people travel to the South Tipp town from 12 different countries.
There was even praise fort he event from the government minister who performed the official opening.
In the course of his remarks at the official opening of Féile Fidelma 5 at the Cashel Palace Hotel, Minister for the Environment, Community and Rural Affairs, Alan Kelly, T.D. had this to say: “As well as exploring the works of the distinguished author the weekend has been good for tourism adding a second dimension to the attraction of Cashel. The Rock is an internationally famous landmark and attracts hundreds of thousands of people in the year but, in most cases, they pass on after their visit to the south and west. The attraction of this festival to the town is the fact that as well as introducing visitors to Sr. Fidelma it also keeps them in the town for a weekend and gives them the opportunity to explore an area rich in history and archaeology but also a centre of the horse breeding industry in the country through the internationally renowned establishment of Coolmore.
“On this point it is interesting to learn that Sr. Fidelma is an excellent horsewoman who always sets off from Cashel on horseback - Would she have got a job from Aiden O’Brien? - and that Noel Mullins, the well-known equestrian photo journalist and author, who has been associated with horses for over 60 years, is one of the speakers this weekend.
“I understand that the first weekend in 2006 attracted participants from ten countries and that a similar clientele has been attracted to subsequent events. Cashel Arts Fest are to be congratulated on the success of their initiative, which is one of two events they organise in the year. The second in the Arts Fest in November.”
Other speakers at the opening included Rebecca Lenehan, chairperson of Cashel Arts Fest, Michael Fitzgerald, chairperson of Tipperary County Council, the author Peter Berresford Ellis and the chairperson of the organising committee, Seamus King. The formalities concluded with a fine rendering of his own composition, Cashel, My Home Town, by the head barman in the hotel, Denis Heffernan.
The attendance included people from 12 countries and in the course of a packed weekend they heard seven lectures on different aspects of the Fidelma Mysteries as well as life in Ireland in medieval times. The party also visited Ballydoyle and Coolmore and had a guided tour of Aythassel Abbey by local archaeologist Joanne Hughes O’Brien.
The weekend was an outstanding success and the decision has already been made to hold the sixth Féile Fidelma in September 2016.