Limerick to get catty on the Bank Holiday weekend

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

The Cats were on the streets at the launch of the 'TomCat' festival: these felines were part of the Mary Immaculate College Drama Societys production of CATS. Keith Wiseman
A BRAND new arts festival is set to brighten the city up during the June Bank Holiday.

A BRAND new arts festival is set to brighten the city up during the June Bank Holiday.

Businesses in Thomas Street and Catherine Street have teamed up to create a festival, which will feature performance, music, DJs, dance, installation artwork, photography, craftwork, and film fiestas over the bank holiday.

Appropriately known as the ‘TomCat’ festival, the countdown to the event kicked off in front of 50 people at the Parlour Bar in Thomas Street.

A series of events are being planned for the four day festival, with many reflecting the diverse range of businesses on the two streets.

Marketed as ‘The Festival of the Curious Mind’, the TomCat festival is currently inviting submissions from art groups and individual wishing to get involved.

The colourful launch of the event saw an impromptu performance from the Mary Immaculate College Dramatic Arts Society’s production of CATS, while there were speeches from Mayor Gerry McLoughlin, Karl Wallace, artistic director of Limerick City of Culture 2014, and Mickey Martin’s proprietor Deirdre Martin, of the organising committee.

The festival started life four years ago as ‘Catdig’, in a bid to drive footfall in Catherine Street over what is traditionally a quiet weekend.

But once Thomas Street came on board, the festival has taken on a new identity.

It is hoped the event will generate positive coverage about Limerick and its culture both before and after.

Ms Martin hopes all restaurants, shops, cafes and pubs will join “in a weekend of expressing ourselves through art in whatever format this would take.” Mayor McLoughlin selected a line from cat lover Mark Twain’s notebook, where he stated: “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one which cannot be made slave of the leash, and this is the cat. If man can be crossed with a cat, it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

More information: search for ‘Tom Cat Street Festival’ on Facebook.