The Green Fleadh County Cavan

Cavan Town

Cavan Coat of Arms
Courtesy of Sinead Fox
Cavan Fleadh Cheoil 2010
Courtesy of Sinead Fox

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (Festival of Music in Ireland) is an important event in the traditional Irish music calendar. The goal of the Fleadh Cheoil has been to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The Fleadh has developed as a mainly competitive event, but also includes showcases of concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants, and street sessions. In 2010 the Fleadh was held in Cavan town. The organisers aimed to ensure that all aspects of the Fleadh were carried out in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Businesses achieved a Green Fleadh membership certificate for their premises. This mainly focuses on waste prevention, water use and energy use, which are three main costs associated with most businesses. This initiative was supported by Cavan County Council, the Environmental Protection Agency and Failte Ireland. Comhaltas who host the Fleadh Cheoil endorsed the idea of the Green Fleadh, as did all the sponsors.

Cavan County Council anticipated that waste volumes would rise dramatically with the massive influx of visitors.   Appropriate waste separation options were in place at catering outlets, at street level and at campsites. All of Cavan town’s restaurants, cafés and hotels were visited and opportunities for recycling and waste prevention were identified in line with the new Waste Food Regulations 2010. Businesses were encouraged to recycle plastics and implement a three-bin system, as part of the Green Fleadh Membership.

Water saving initiatives were put into place at various locations such as the campsites. Cavan Town Council staff worked hard to eliminate water leaks. Hotels and restaurants were asked to fit water saving devices on their taps and showers and toilets in an effort to conserve water during the busy festival period. Hippo bags (limited number available free of charge from Cavan County Council) were inserted in cisterns to reduce toilet flushes and serve as a simple but effective water displacement measure. Timers or motion sensors on urinals reduce water costs significantly, and were encouraged.

Companies in Cavan town were encouraged to participate in projects to reduce energy costs associated with the Fleadh, such as low energy lighting and appropriate control of air conditioning.

The large hospitality sector operators were encouraged to join the Green Hospitality Award scheme as some Cavan hotels have already done this year. The reduction in costs experienced by some members nationwide has been between €5,000 and €100,000 in the first year, after implementation of the programme. The really surprising factor is that most of these savings come from low or no cost systems and practices being put in place in each property.

The Council has been visiting publicans to identify cost saving opportunities in water use, cooling, lighting, energy use and waste production.


Sustainable transport options were available with Bus Éireann increasing the number of buses on the Cavan Routes during the Fleadh. Visitors were encouraged to use public transport when possible to travel to and from the event.

The Fleadh is Certified Carbon Neutral with an estimated 458 tonnes of Carbon being produced during the Festival. A Native Oak woodland will be planted in Cavan in October to offset carbon emissions.  

This project is the result of work undertaken by Cavan County Council, participants in the Local Authority Prevention Network: an initiative funded by the Environment Fund through the EPA-led National Waste Prevention Programme, working in collaboration with Irish local authorities.


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