Councillors expressed disappointment that Limerick will not ring in the New Year with a fireworks display this year
LIMERICK will not ring in the New Year with a fireworks display this year, as Limerick City and County Council confirmed that there are no major public events planned for New Year’s Eve.
At a meeting of the Cultural SPC at the Limerick City and County Council Chambers in Dooradoyle this week, arts officer Sheila Deegan said that there are no plans currently in place for New Year’s Eve this year.
“I’m very disappointed to hear that,” Fine Gael councillor Elenora Hogan said.
“We really pushed hard last year for the return of the fireworks. Please, it’s a huge family-friendly event for Limerick, a huge event for the city on the biggest night of the year and we can’t let off a firework? Are we for real?”
Thousands of people were expected to line Clancy Strand last year for a €40,000 New Year’s Eve celebration backed by Limerick City and County Council.
The event was to include the first firework display to be held in Limerick City in five years, while a specially commissioned video projection was due to animate the facade of King John’s Castle.
However, due to a high risk of flooding as a result of Storm Dylan, the event was cancelled on December 29.
The fireworks and animation were later hosted during St Patrick’s Day weekend.
In a statement to the Limerick Leader, a spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said: “Traditionally Limerick has not had a civic event on New Year’s Eve and the overall programme for this year is comprehensive and will make for an enjoyable festive season in Limerick.
“Limerick City and County Council along with its partners has devised wide-ranging and family friendly programme of events for the countdown to Christmas.”
Speaking after the meeting, Sinn Fein councillor Séighin Ó Ceallaigh described the absence of a major New Year’s Eve event for Limerick as a “regressive step for the city, given the hard work and investment put in over the last couple of years.”
“Unfortunately the NYE event had to be postponed due to storms, but when the events took place on both the St Patrick's Weekend, and the May Bank Holiday weekend, it brought tens of thousands of people into our city.”
"The thing is we have to keep that momentum going if we are going to see business and tourism develop even further.”
“I would also call for those currently in control of the upcoming Christmas festivals not to be scrooges and to have fireworks again this year at a major event in our city centre.”
Meanwhile, a brochure to promote Christmas festivities in Limerick drew ire from county councillors at the recent Cultural SPC.
“Its as if any place past Dooradoyle doesn’t exist,” Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Michael Collins said.
“I’m very disappointed to see that Newcastle West doesn’t appear on the brochure.”
“Local traders in the county do their best,” he added.
“Limerick City is the capital of the Mid-West,” SPC Cathaoirleach cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said.
“You have my assurances that Santy will make it out the county as well as to the city this year.”