7 January 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fine Gael TD for Cork South Central Jerry Buttimer, has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, that funding has been allocated for Cork International Choral Festival and the Laya Healthcare City Spectacular. West Cork Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Literary Festival are also to get a funding boost for 2016. This is part of Fáilte Ireland‘s national funding of just over €1.8 million for 23 key national festivals and events.
“Today’s announcement means that Cork International Choral Festival is to get €50,000 and Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, which is held in Cork and Dublin, will get €25,000. Meanwhile West Cork Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Literary Festival will get €50,000.
“These festivals are hugely popular with people in Cork and further afield. This funding will help to grow the festivals further and allow them to continue to plan for the future.
“Cork International Choral Festival attracts choirs and music lovers from across the world for a programme of Gala concerts, Schools Concerts, National and International Competitions, and world-class performances. Thousands of participants bring the city to life for a celebration of choral music in its many forms.
“The Laya Healthcare City Spectacular, which is built around free events in Fitzgerald Park, is going from strength to strength. Free for everyone, the festival entertains people with a host of world class street performers including fire eaters, contortionists, acrobats and sword swallowers joining musicians, artists and singers along with plenty of other family friendly activities.
“The West Cork Chamber Music Festival and West Cork Literary Festival are also hugely popular. In its 21st year WCCM has a well-established reputation for world-class musicians based in the attractive maritime location of Bantry, using atmospheric venues. The West Cork Literary Festival brings the best of Irish and international literature to West Cork.
“There was a 14% increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first eleven months of 2015 and the most recent figures show that revenue in the sector has increased by 16% to €4.2 billion. A significant factor in this growth is the festivals and events on offer in all parts of the country.
“The Government has set an ambitious target of attracting 10 million visitors to Ireland and having 250,000 people employed in the tourism sector by 2025. Continued growth of festivals and increasing the offering to tourists will be key in meeting these targets.
“2015 has been an extremely strong year for tourism but it is vital that we maintain our competitiveness and keep our focus on keeping the recovery going in the tourism sector.”