Weston is at its best for festival

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

MORE than 200 people from across the southside descended on Hyde Rangers soccer club on Saturday for the first ever ‘Westival’.

MORE than 200 people from across the southside descended on Hyde Rangers soccer club on Saturday for the first ever ‘Westival’.

The sun shone down on the community event, organised by regeneration director Kieran Ryan, mountaineer Mark Quinn, and sponsored by O’Kelly Bros demolition.

And residents were treated to a fantastic array of music, sport and eats.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Jim Long, opened the event, which saw soccer and rugby skills training, and live music from some of the city’s most talented musicians, including Mark and the Marksmen, Carpe Dium, the Upset Quartet and rockers Acoustra.

There was also facepainting, and ‘Street Games’ organised by the Shane Geoghegan trust.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Mr Ryan said he hoped ‘Westival’ becomes an annual event - and that other areas follow suit.

“I would like to think we could do something on an annual basis. Maybe not to the same scale, but definitely some sort of a community event. I don’t think there would be any harm in having something like this in each community,” he said, “It was great to see people coming out, and coming together to provide the various elements of the day.”

Groups involved in the Our Lady of Lourdes event included the FAI and Munster Rugby.

While opening the event, Mayor Long - in his own back yard - made reference to the fact that he while he holds the highest office in Limerick, Mark Quinn holds the record for both Limerick and Ireland for being the youngest Irish person to reach the highest point on earth, Mount Everest.

Kieran thanked Gerry McCormack, Christy O’Dwyer, and all at Hyde Rangers who accommodated the festival in their own grounds.

“The main highlight for me was that people showed up, took part and had a good time. It was great to see the kids out playing and getting involved,” he added.

FAI youth development officers Pat Halpin, Barbara Birmingham and Michael McCarthy laid on lots of soccer related activities as well presenting all the children with t-shirts.

Meanwhile, Munster Rugby trainer Andy Brace proved a big hit with the kids, spending hours playing rugby with them on the soccer pitch.