BALMY autumn weather drew thousands of people to the 25th annual Milford Harvest fair yesterday - with the charity in line for a big funding boost.
The Unigolf site in the National Technology Park, Castletroy, was once again turned into the largest outdoor market in Munster for the annual event, the major fundraiser for Milford Hospice - which provides in-patient care to around 1,200 cancer patients.
The site became a hive of activity hours before Munster star Marcus Horan officially declared the event open at 1.30pm.
The fair boasted dozens of attractions for young and old alike, with a Playbus for children, and the traditional large barbecue at the centre of the field.
Meanwhile, the soundtrack for the day was supplied by the CBS Pipe Band, and the Garryowen Comhaltas Ceoltori.
More than 300 volunteers from across the city joined the fundraising effort on the day.
Other attractions included ‘the Living Head’, an illusion presented by the Munster Magic Circle, the wheel of fortune and several bric-a-brac stores. Terence Andrews, of the Magic Circle, which has been involved in the Harvest Fair since it began, said: “The talking head is something truly amazing: when you walk in, there is a head on the top of a table. You can ask him any questions and he will answer you! We always find the children are least afraid of it, and the adults are very afraid!”
Sr Phylis Donnellan, Milford Hospice, thanked the “wonderful” people of Limerick: “They come year after year to support the hospice in Milford, and we appreciate it very much.”
Milford Hospice CEO Pat Quinlan added: “If you look around here today, it is a huge affirmation and a vote of confidence to the good work done by Milford Hospice. Each year, Milford has fundrasiing target of €1.5m to raise, so by and large, this is one of our biggest events.”
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Maria Byrne, added: “The thousands of euro raised today goes to a very worthy cause, and the tremendous work which is done by the staff, I could not speak more highly of.”
Enjoying the fair were Thomondgate girls Martina Byrne and Katie Quilligan.
They jokingly said they were disappointed that, as grown-ups, they could not use the Playbus.
“Milford Hospice is a very good cause. I think everyone has family members, friends or someone they knew who have used the hospice,” said Martina.