Willie Clancy Week officials have announced that the levels of sweat recorded at this year's céilís have reached an all-time high. These numbers are thanks to the hard work of the céili 'sweat moppers'.
Every year the céilís are held in the marquee and Armada Hotel outside Miltown Malbay, attracting hundreds of avid dancers. To cope with the humidity and sweat, specialised 'sweat moppers' are employed to mop up dangerous pools and wipe sweat from the dancers themselves.
This year, officials recorded a total of 1,813 buckets of sweat, a huge increase in last year's number of 1,454. Organisers say that this is a healthy reflection of the appeal of the céilís and the amount of effort put in by the dancers.
"We're delighted with the new record and with the 'sweat moppers' for achieving this number. Every year we strive to better ourselves and this year was no exception."
The 'sweat moppers' use specialised mops to cope with the set dancers' sweat, a sweat which is known to contain a special enzyme which gives the set dancers their demanding and prickly nature but also enables them to dance for hours on end. When asked what happens to the buckets of sweat after the festival, the organisers gave a surprising response.
"We sell the buckets to Michael Flatley at a price of 5 euro per bucket. That's his secret to staying so young. He needs to bathe in a tub of set dancer's sweat every week to retain his youthful appearance and it MUST be set dancer sweat. It's how we get the funds for the festival."
If you would like to become a 'sweat mopper', people are encouraged to contact the festival office and undertake a special course.