Pig and Porter: Susan Fogarty, Eimear Mairtin, Clare Healy, Team M&Ms enjoying the Old Crescent festival, which returns in July Picture: Gareth Williams
SIX festivals in Limerick have benefited to the tune of €19,000 in Failte Ireland funding, it has been announced.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, announced the funding under the tourism body’s 2016 Festivals and Events Programme.
It comes after city councillors complained in January that Limerick had not received any of a €1.8m tranche awarded by Failte Ireland to 23 events and festivals around the country.
Under this regional funding round, the Limerick Sings International Choral Festival, which takes place in June, will receive €3,000; Eva International, opening in April, is awarded €4,000; Foynes Air Show, happening in July, receives €4,000; July’s Pig ‘n’ Porter tag rugby festival benefits to the tune of €2,500; Knights of Westfest, taking place in September, receives €3,000 and May’s Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick is awarded €2,500.
Minister Ring said it would “allow Limerick to broaden its appeal to overseas visitors and attract visitors who are actively seeking to fully experience Ireland in all its aspects - from culture and sport, to festivals and fun.
“Festivals and events are the life-blood of tourism and mobilise many visitors to choose to come to Ireland in the first instance. With this funding, we can provide a boost to tourism activity in Limerick which is good news for the local economy and employment.”
Councillors expressed disquiet with the “restructuring” going on in the council following the effective mothballing of the Limerick Marketing Company. It recently advertised for a head of communications/marketing, but it is understood that interviews for this position are only now taking place.
Kieran Lehane, the council’s head of the metropolitan area, said it invariably “fell back to local authorities over the years to fund and manage events, but that is not really our business”.