€1.3M in funding for festivals & events announced by Ring

10,836 employed by festivals & 48,692 volunteers in sector

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring has announced just over €1.3 million in Fáilte Ireland funding for 29 festivals and events being held across Ireland this year.

They include the Cork International Choral Festival, the Great Limerick Run, Listowel Writer’s Week, the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival, Galway Arts Festival and many more events ranging across the arts, sport and culture.

“We want to make 2014 even more successful for tourism than The Gathering year of 2013. This new funding for 29 festivals will boost our events schedule for overseas visitors and give them even more reasons to visit our country. Visitor numbers continue to grow so far this year with an 11.3% increase from December 2013 to February 2014 compared to last year,” Minister Ring said.

The new funding follows earlier funding announcements for the 2014 St Patrick’s Festival and the Temple Bar Trad Fest which got the festival year off to a great start. Further funding under Fáilte Ireland’s Regional Festivals and Events Programme will be announced in the near future.

“Fáilte Ireland research indicates that in 2011 there were 10,836 people in paid employment in festivals. Additionally, 48,692 people around Ireland were engaged with festivals in Ireland on a voluntary basis. This gives a very important boost to local economies. Our tourism investment is further justified by the recent figures showing strong growth in revenue from overseas visitors, which came to €3.3 billion last year excluding fares,” Minister Ring said.

“I’m pleased to build on the legacy of 2013 with this new funding under Fáilte Ireland’s national festivals and events programme. The Gathering has left a valuable legacy in harnessing Ireland’s enormous social capital which shone through in the thousands of events which were organised. This year we can offer an even broader range of events and visitors to Ireland will experience everything from culture to sport, to festivals and fun.”

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised: “Festivals and events are the lifeblood of Irish tourism – complementing the beauty of our landscapes and the friendliness of our people with a rich variety of spectacle and experiences. These events will provide the backbone to the tourism calendar in communities throughout the country and add to our ability to grow overseas visitors and revenue.”