Roll out the new at Rathfredagh Garden Fete in West Limerick

Norma Prendiville


Norma Prendiville

A taste of what will be on offer at the Rathfredagh Fete in July

A taste of what will be on offer at the Rathfredagh Fete in July

THE Rathfredagh Garden Fete has been a welcome fixture on the West Limerick social calendar for many years, drawing hundreds of men, women and children to the grounds at Rathfredagh on the first Sunday of July.

And the organisers are hoping that this year’s fete will again pull in the crowds.

In the past, the money raised through the fete has gone to pay for essential services such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, services not funded by the HSE.

But in an ambitious move, this year’s fete is intended as the first of a series of fund-raisers with the aim of buying a new bus at an estimated cost of €70,000.

And, says Liam Griffin, chairman of the fund-raising committee,  the hope is that a new novelty event, Bubble Football will help in that aim. “It should be a good laugh too,” he says. Local gardai and firefighters, along with local sports people and publicans have already signed up for it and members of the public are also being asked to put their names down.

Bubble Football involves being encased in a kind of bubble-wrap, with just your legs from the knees down uncovered. “If you fall over, you have to be helped up,” says Liam. “But it is perfectly safe. You can’t hurt yourself.”

Each five-a-side contest will last 10 minutes.  Another addition to this year’s fete will be the pod-bus, a bus with a capacity for 12 children where they can play various video games.

Other attractions will include a mini-zoo with reptiles, birds and amphibians on display as well as an  historical re-enactment.

There will also be a dog show, go-karting, a merry-go-round and a bouncing castle as well as novelty games.  

Stalls selling fashion, shoes, books, bric-a-brac and plants are perennial favourites at Rathfredagh, along with the teas and strawberries and cream. And of course there will be live music.

This year’s fete starts at the earlier time of 12 noon and admission is €5 with children free.