CHAIRMAN of Limerick City Council’s environmental committee John Gilligan has urged the authority to “speculate to accumulate” when it comes to advertising The Gathering.
Cllr Gilligan says if necessary, Limerick City Council should go into its overdraft to advertise the city as being home of the government-backed project, designed to attract people with Irish heritage back to the island.
He says this is because following the signing of the Treaty in 1691, some 16,000 people spread over the world.
“We need to advertise this, and I believe if you do not speculate, you are not going to accumulate. If we have to go into an overdraft situation, we will make money from it.”
His comments come as the chairperson of the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) group warned Limerick will only benefit from the investment in the Gathering project if cleaning levels are maintained.
Speaking at an international conference of environmental experts in Brussels, Dr Tom Cavanagh said he was worried Limerick City Council might cut its cleaning schedule, and “jeopardise” the success of the programme.
“There is a lot of expectation in Ireland surrounding the Gathering, but we need to start talking about basic housekeeping to ensure these guests arrive to a clean and well-presented country,” he said.
Cllr Gilligan agrees with this stance, saying: “This is not supposed to be a one-off thing, this is to be a chance to build up the tourist industry. We only have one chance to do this now, so we have to get this right. A bad impression lasts a lot longer in people’s minds then you would care to think of.”
Dr Cavanagh believes instead of cutting, local authorities should enforce fines in property owners who fail to heed the Litter Act.