Economic boost of €1 million as 100,000 attend St Patrick’s festival events in Limerick

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

OVER 100,000 people thronged the streets of Limerick over the St Patrick’s Day festivities, generating a visitor spend that Shannon Development estimates at in excess of €1 million.

OVER 100,000 people thronged the streets of Limerick over the St Patrick’s Day festivities, generating a visitor spend that Shannon Development estimates at in excess of €1 million.

OVER 100,000 people thronged the streets of Limerick over the St Patrick’s Day festivities, generating a visitor spend that Shannon Development estimates at in excess of €1 million.

After 70,000 watched the St Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday - the largest crowd outside Dublin - an estimated 30,000 turned out in glorious spring sunshine on Sunday for the 41st International Band Parade. In addition, huge numbers turned up for festival trading at the Milk Market and the Feet on the Street concert on Saturday.

“There is a huge economic spin-off to the city, this year of €1 million and upwards and the potential is there to double that,” commented Eoghan Prendergast, Shannon Development.

After some years of decline, the International Band Parade is growing again and this year bands from all over Ireland, north and south, and from as far away as California competed.

“We were blessed with good weather on both days that got the crowds out. The Band Parade brought an international dimension to it and we are very pleased to see American bands here. There is a group with us here at the moment led by John Cox, who is a premier tour operator in relation to American bands and has been a great friend to Limerick over the years, and hopefully they will deliver six or seven American bands to us next year,” Mr Prendergast said.

The 800th anniversary of the founding of King John’s Castle in 2012 was attractive to American bands in particular, he said.

Andy Ratermann, president of the school board with the Santa Clara school district, said the American students had “a marvellous time” in Limerick over the past week.

“I did get sunburnt in Ireland so I’m not sure what that’s all about,” Mr Ratermann said, admitting he had never thought to pack his sunblock in California.

The Santa Clara High School Band performed at both the St Patrick’s Day and Band Parade, as well as being feted in Adare and Newcastle West during their stay.