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Wednesday, 14th August 2019

Former mayor has his shillelagh robbed at the Fleadh

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Music at the gate - just the one musician with an audience of two at Laurence's Gate yesterday. He gave his name as Lon Dubh (Blackbird) and his address as Eireann. Photo: Andy Spearman.

The former Mayor of Drogheda, Frank Godfrey, was the victim of a petty criminal yesterday when he was robbed while enjoying the craic at the Fleadh Cheoil.

Frank told Drogheda Life that he was in town enjoying the atmosphere and put a bag that he was carrying down for a minute whilst he posed for a photo, something that he likes doing, and someone made off with both the bag and its contents.

We naturally asked Frank if there was anything valuable in the bag and he said: “Ah no, just my old camera and a few bits and bobs – oh, and a shillelagh. “

“A shillelagh?” we asked, “why were you carrying shillelagh around with you? You’re lucky the Gardaí didn’t know you were in possession of a dangerous weapon!”

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“I use it for playing my bodhran” he replied, “God they took that too!” He added that his name and phone number are on the missing items and he is hoping that somoen will find them and had them back.

Frank wasn’t quite so much in evidence as he was last year when, as Mayor, he must have shaken every one of the 500,000 visitor’s hand by the end of the week!

The 2019 Fleadh mega party continues for the second year in Drogheda and everyone seems to be enjoying it so far. We’re only half way through the week and nobody seems to be too exhausted yet although there were reports of quite a few tired and emotional Leaving Cert students celebrating.

Probably because there is no Music at the Gate this year the Fleadh action seems to be even more concentrated on West Street and yesterday afternoon there was all sorts of music being played by people of all levels of ability.

Some of it was sublime while much of it, needed a bit more practice shall we say but fair play to everyine for giving it a go and getting into the swingof the Fleadh. Here's a selection:

The backing music to it all, if you could hear it for the fiddles, bodhrans and pipes, was the sound of tills ringing in the bars and restaurants. Other businesses on the Golden Quarter Mile were not so busy though, in fact one retailer said he was fiddling his thumbs all day.

There was a good Garda presence and nothing too serious was reported by way of criminal activity although Drogheda Gardaí took to Facebook to warn people that there were counterfeit €20 and €10 notes in circulation. They didn't say how to tell them apart though.

By the way, Frank says not to forget his big event in Ship Street on Sunday – Music and craic from 3- 5 pm with an audio visual show from Upstate Theatre Group as well). Let’s hope he gets his bodhran and shillelagh back by then.

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