County Limerick festival cancelled after dispute over bar licence

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

ONE of County Limerick’s biggest annual summer festivals has been cancelled after a group of residents objected to the granting of a liquor licence for a marquee beside their estate.

ONE of County Limerick’s biggest annual summer festivals has been cancelled after a group of residents objected to the granting of a liquor licence for a marquee beside their estate.

However, on learning that there had been objections to the granting of the licence they withdrew the application and cancelled the entire four day festival which was due to have been opened by former Irish soccer international, Jason McAteer.

“We went to the court last Friday and there were four objectors there so we just withdrew it and said we would cancel the whole lot,” said local publican Derry O’Meara, one of the organisers of the festival.

“Most people are very annoyed especially for the Rose competition because people really look forward to that every year especially all the young girls,” he added.

For the first time, the festival was due to take place from July 12 to 15 in a specially erected marquee in the soccer pitch beside the Sycamore Drive housing estate. The festival had previously taken place on the main street in the town but organisers say insurance issues and the unpredictable Irish weather prompted them to secure a new venue.

According to Mr O’Meara, without the liquor licence the organisers couldn’t justify the cost of running the festival which they estimated would reach in the region of €14,000.

However, according to local resident, Martin Cusack of Sycamore Drive, the concerns of local residents living in the housing estate were not taken into consideration when it was decided to secure a bar licence.

“The Saturday before the court we found out about it – it came up on Facebook,” said Mr Cusack who is a member of the local community alert.

“We heard nothing about it – they didn’t even come to our door and put in a note to say there was a festival going ahead. People are very cross over this,” he added.

Mr Cusack said over 60 residents from both Sycamore Drive and Brugh na nDeise signed a petition against the granting of the bar licence which was handed over to the local Garda superintendent in Bruff.

“We didn’t want the bar here because there would be too many people coming in from outside and getting drunk.  Our houses are just outside the gate of the soccer field and we would have to try and deal with them,” continued Mr Cusack who pointed out that he had no problem with the festival itself going ahead.

For more, see this weekend’s Limerick Leader, print edition