Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring has announced that funding of just over €685,000 has been approved by Fáilte Ireland for 170 regional festivals and events taking place next year.
“Next year promises to be a great one for festivals, with a huge range of local events taking place in almost every corner of Ireland. I’m delighted to confirm funding of €685,000 for 170 local festivals right across Ireland,” Minister Ring said.
The huge range of festivals being supported by Fáilte Ireland under the Regional Programme of the Festivals and Events Initiative includes:
- Fun events like the Galway Comedy Festival, the Charlie Chaplin Festival in Waterville and the Joe Dolan Festival in Mullingar;
- Music festivals like the Bray Jazz Festival, Drogheda Samba Festival, Dingle Tradfest, the Ukelele Hooley in Dun Laoghaire and the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in Tullamore;
- Sports events such as the Galway International Rally, the European Championships of Australian Rules Football, and participatory events like the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon;
- Food events such as the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, the Roscommon Lamb Festival and the Kenmare Food Festival;
- Or cultural events such as the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival, Kilkenomics in Kilkenny, and the Sarsfield’s Day Pageant in Limerick.
- There will even be a Narnia Festival in Christ Church in Bray, based on one of the children’s books by CS Lewis.
“Our local festivals and events are the perfect opportunity to showcase all that Ireland has to offer, whether it’s our culture, our people or our places. Local festivals are central to the Government’s plans to develop the tourism industry. It’s estimated that they are worth some €450 million for the economy, and they provide vital bednights in communities everywhere,” Minister Ring said.
“The regional festivals and events supported by this initiative add vibrancy and colour to towns and villages everywhere. As we all know, 2013 will be a year of The Gathering. The larger Gathering festivals will be announced shortly. But these smaller local and regional festivals have brought fun and pleasure for many years, and will be a crucial part of the overall Gathering experience next year. The festivals sector has shown remarkable resilience over the last few years, which is a testament to the resourcefulness and skill of the people and communities involved in the festivals sector.”
Shaun Quinn, CEO of Fáilte Ireland stressed the importance of festivals for Ireland and the tourism sector: ‘Wherever you go around Ireland next year, the year of the Gathering, there will be festivals and things to see and do everywhere. Behind all the fun and enjoyment lies a strong business case. The simple matter is, interesting and attractive festivals bring people into this country and encourage people to travel throughout the country. Festivals and events also greatly improve the overall experience of Ireland for those who eventually arrive here - providing opportunities to interact with Irish culture and the good nature, charm and invention of our people as well’.
Attached below full list of festivals:
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: 01 6041090 / 01 6041087
Note for Editors:
The tourism and hospitality industry employs an estimated 180,000 people and generates almost €5 billion in revenue a year.
The Programme for Government contains specific commitments to target available resources at developing and co-ordinating niche tourism products and activity packages that are attractive to international visitors focusing on food, sports, culture, ecotourism, activity breaks, water-based recreation and festivals, and also that event tourism will be prioritised to continue to bring major fairs and events to Ireland.
The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport's role in relation to tourism lies primarily in the area of national policy. Its remit is: ‘To support the growth of a competitive and sustainable tourism industry, enhancing its contribution to national economic and social goals, through the development, implementation and influencing of a range of policy actions and programmes by the Department, its Agencies and other Government Departments, in consultation with industry partners’.
The State Tourism agencies, under the aegis of the Department, are established to deal with the administration of that policy.
Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority was established to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy. The organisation provides strategic and practical support to develop and sustain Ireland as a high quality and competitive tourist destination.
Fáilte Ireland operates the Festivals and Participative Events Initiative, to support events that generate bednights and revenue for the tourism sector.
Tourism Ireland, established under the Good Friday Agreement, is the agency responsible for marketing the island of Ireland as a holiday destination overseas. It devises and implements marketing programmes, and provides industry partners with opportunities to market their own products and services.