Limerick councillor wants a dash to Derry for city of culture

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

UK City of Culture: Derry. Picture: Martin McKeown
LIMERICK city councillors want to travel to Derry to see how the Maiden City has used its year as UK City of Culture.

LIMERICK city councillors want to travel to Derry to see how the Maiden City has used its year as UK City of Culture.

At this month’s council meeting, northside Labour councillor Tom Shortt asked if the conference allowance could cover trips to Foyleside.

Members get an annual allowance to spend on attending conferences - but these need to be approved at full council.

Cllr Shortt believes there could be more flexibility in the allowance, asking: “Could we add Derry as a destination for councillors to claim conference expenses on? It is a very prohibitive journey to make without funding.”

He said he was looking at one particular event, which he believes “will entice people to our own City of Culture celebrations.”

Secretary Eugene Griffin said: “Unless there are particular conferences relating to the City of Culture, we cannot provide for this.”

Meanwhile, fellow northside councillor Cormac Hurley says he believes inflated air fares and hotel costs could be “irreparably” damaging the year of The Gathering.

“It looks like the price has gone up from €600 to €1,200. But I have found out that two airlines are charging €300 less than Aer Lingus,” he said, adding an American friend of his has found a room at a hotel he stays at on his annual visit to Ireland has risen by €400.

Former travel agent Cllr Maurice Quinlivan, Sinn Fein, pointed out as more airline seats sell, they invariably become more expensive. He agreed the hotel price was “outrageous”.

It was suggested the council investigates this before submitting a formal response.