Spectators enojoying last year's Foynes Air Show
FOYNES Air Show and A Celebration of Irish Coffee are set to get the largest slice of a €33,000 pie in funding for Limerick festivals, allocated under Fáilte Ireland’s Regional Festivals & Participative Events Programme.
The air show is set to reach new heights this year - its fourth since its 2014 conception - as part of Aviation Ireland under the Irish Aviation Authority, and the funding is much-needed to pull it off.
“We are very pleased and very happy to get it. Our event will be very big, and it’s a recognition as well. I’ve been constantly saying that Limerick wasn’t getting a fair share of the grants,” said Margaret O’Shaughnessy of the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, who is organising the events.
The total festivities across the two days will cost in the hundreds of thousands, and this is the first year that the Foynes festival has received funding at this level.
The air show and Irish coffee day are also due to receive €10,000 out of the General Municipal Allocation from councillors in the Adare Rathkeale district.
“This year’s air show has gone to a new level altogether as part of Aviation Ireland.
“We will have acts here that we couldn’t ever hope to afford, so thanks very much to the IAA for bringing us in under that,” said Ms O’Shaughnessy.
“All we need now is the weather!”
The other allocations include Limerick International Band Championship, the European Food Truck Festival, and Riverfest, which received €5,000 each.
The Pig ‘n’ Porter and Limerick Sings International Choral Festival which received €3,000 each.
Finally The Paddy Dakar, Limerick Pride Festival 2017 and the Limerick Jazz Festival, received €1,000 each.
Announcing the funding, Minister of State for Tourism Patrick O’Donovan said: “Festivals and events provide a great motivation for visitors to travel around Ireland and add another dimension to the tourist experience on the ground. They are the lifeblood of tourism and mobilise many visitors to choose to come to Ireland in the first instance.”
Senator Maria Byrne said: “These festivals really add to the character of the area and are great for generating community spirit.”
She added that the funding will boost tourist numbers and should increase the footfall to local businesses.