At the Cultural SPC, county councillors expressed disappointment that more county-based Christmas events were not being highlighted
COUNTY councillors fear that Christmas cheer may not extend past Dooradoyle this year, as a brochure promoting upcoming festivities in Limerick highlights just six events taking place outside of the city boundaries.
Details of the Christmas in Limerick marketing campaign were first revealed at a meeting of the Cultural SPC at the Limerick City and County Council Chambers this week.
Later this month, 100,000 promotional brochures are due to be distributed across Limerick Clare, and Tipperary.
But the festive programme drew ire from county councillors who felt it was too focused on Limerick City, with just six of the 31 events highlighted based in the county.
“It's 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. We have a fantastic Santa Grotto planned in Newcastle West but its not included here,” he added.
“There are also events taking place in Kilmallock, Rathkeale, Abbeyfeale. There is a lot happening but its not being promoted.”
“It is a very impressive line-up and I’m very excited to see what’s in store but I have to agree,” Councillor Lisa-Marie Sheedy said.
“It is very disappointing to see so few county events included. I’m disappointed that there wasn’t communication with us. We need to be promoting the county equally.”
“We’re trying to encourage people to shop local, to support local traders,” she added.
“It's very impressive for the city but at what cost to the county,” Cllr Stephen Keary said. “County shops pay rates as well, don’t they deserve to have events highlighted on 100,000 brochures throughout Limerick, Clare and Tipperary?”
“Limerick City is the capital of the Mid-West,” SPC Cathaoirleach cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said. “I think it's very important to attract in people from Clare and Tipperary as well.” A group should be set up for next year to take into account the councillor’s feedback, he added.
“You have my assurances that Santy will make it out the county as well as to the city this year,” he told councillors.
Speaking after the Cultural SPC, LCCC head of marketing and communications for Laura Ryan said: "Research for our Christmas in Limerick campaign began last September when our marketing team began gathering information and making contact with service providers across Limerick city and county about any planned Christmas events."
"We collated any information that was available to us and have given a free web presence to more than 80 festive events on Limerick.ie/Christmas."
"Not all events can feature in the Christmas in Limerick brochure which goes to print in early November so we selected a wide variety of family friendly events, gigs, pantos, shows and Santa experiences across Limerick and highlighted events in Limerick city as well as Holycross, Newcastle West, Adare, Patrickswell, Croagh, Kilmallock, Lough Gur, Curraghchase and Christmas parking arrangements in Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West and Kilmallock."
"This is a free service provided by the Council and it’s easy for anyone who is still organising a Christmas event to submit content to us," she added.
"We are happy to feature this content on our Christmas in Limerick website www.limerick.ie/christmas and promote it across our Christmas in Limerick social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram."
Meanwhile, there are no plans for a New Year’s Eve firework display this year, councillors also heard at the SPC. Limerick traditionally does not host a civic NYE event, a council spokesperson later told the Limerick Leader.