‘Exciting’ Foynes Air Show ready for take-off this weekend

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Email:

maria.flannery@limerickleader.ie

‘Exciting’ Foynes Air Show ready for take-off this weekend

The Irish Air Corps, pictured, will participate for the first time ever

THE FIFTH Foynes Air Show is set to take off this weekend, with a street party to be surpassed only by the entertainment in the skies, say the organisers.

More than 20,000 people are expected to descend on the maritime village to view the spectacle this Saturday. Street entertainment begins at 12pm, while the air show will start at 2pm.

The day-long family event celebrates Foynes’ aviation history, and forms part of the IAA’s #AviationIreland weekend along with the Bray Air Display in Wicklow.

This year the acrobatic displays will not be limited to the daredevil pilots in their aircraft.

The Bloodsworth Barnstorming Bizarre will feature internationally-renowned aerialists on the streets of Foynes from noon.

With the support of the Limerick City and County Council’s Culture and Arts Office ‘Festivals and Events Grants Scheme’, a never before witnessed carnival of events and entertainment - including circus shows, aerialists, walk up acts, and music in the square by Escapade - will entertain the crowds free of charge.

Popular cartoon characters and superheroes will be on hand to paint faces, meet children and join in the fun, while McFadden’s Amusements will return to Foynes once again. Children will also be invited to meet some new furry friends in the onsite pet farm.

Prior to the air show, the City of Limerick Pipe Band will entertain the crowds. A demonstration from Ballybunion Coast Guard Search & Rescue Unit will also take place.

In an ‘exciting’ addition to the Foynes Air Show schedule, the Swedish Air Force Historic Flight team will return with the supersonic attack aircraft the Saab Viggen, also known as Thunderbolt.

Unfortunately due to difficulties with one of its aircrafts, the Wild Cats, originally booked for Foynes and Bray, have had to withdraw from this year’s events.

Margaret O’Shaughnessy, Foynes Air Show festival director said: “We are delighted to have a total of 12 awe-inspiring acts by 23 aircraft take to the sky from 2pm for a two hour show, which will include shock and awe displays and breathtaking aerobatics by Ireland and Europe’s most experienced aviators, as well as the return of some of the crowd favourites including the flying cow and the flying dentist.”

Ms O’Shaughnessy, who also runs the local Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, thanked the council’s Culture and Arts Office for their support.

Peter Kearney, Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) Chief Executive said: “The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) with its central role in the promotion and development of aviation in Ireland is delighted to be supporting the Foynes Air Show, enabling the high quality and spectacular displays that we will see over the Aviation Ireland weekend. The line-up is very exciting and the IAA is looking forward to a truly special, memorable and safe #AviationIreland weekend.”

Ms O’Shaughnessy advised those attending this year’s show to arrive early to make the most of the entertainment, both on and off the ground.

“Following the success of last year we are expecting more than 20,000 people to attend what is guaranteed to be the largest air display along the Wild Atlantic Way,” she said.

“I would therefore advise people to arrive early. Access to Foynes on Saturday for the show couldn’t be easier or more stress free. In conjunction with An Garda Siochana, the traffic plan will provide for a comfortable and convenient park and ride system by Dublin Coach for those coming from the Limerick city and Shanagolden side, as well as a park and stride system for those travelling from the Tarbert and Glin direction. The N69 through Foynes Village will be closed to vehicles from 12 noon to 6pm on Saturday to facilitate the show,” explained Ms O’Shaughnessy.

Park n Ride will cost €10 per car and includes the event brochure.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, will officially open this year’s Foynes Air Show which will  include the participation of the Irish Air Corps for the first time.

The show will also include the Catalina - the most built plane of World War II; the Irish Historic Flight Foundation’s flying Chipmunk aircrafts; the striking presence of the DC3; Rich Goodwin in his Pitts Special; and theStrikemasters from the Strikemaster Flying Club (SFC) in North Wales.

The IAA is a supporter of the Foynes Air Show as part of its #AviationIreland campaign to promote aviation across the state. The show is also supported by the local authority, Shannon Airport, Shannon Foynes Port Company, Fáilte Ireland, and many other aviation companies and local industry.

Full details of the Foynes Air Show 2018 can be found on http://www.foynesairshow.com, Facebook and Twitter @foynesairshow.