St Patrick's Festival defends plans after 'mini-Funderland' claim

Tuesday 18 February 2014 23.48
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Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn said the St Patrick's Festival funfair had 'nothing to do with Ireland or Dublin'
Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn said the St Patrick's Festival funfair had 'nothing to do with Ireland or Dublin'
The Lord Mayor suggested events to showcase food and music
The Lord Mayor suggested events to showcase food and music

St Patrick's Festival organisers have defended plans for this year's celebration, after the Lord Mayor of Dublin accused the programme of lacking ambition.

Oisín Quinn said a number of planned events for the St Patrick's celebrations are not sending out the right message for Dublin and are a "missed opportunity".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the Labour councillor said the inclusion of a funfair at Merrion Square was not ambitious enough.

"Effectively all we do is bring a mini version of Funderland. It has nothing to do with Ireland or Dublin."

He suggested more cultural events showcasing music and food could be included in the festival.

"My concern is that the funfair is being used simply to raise money. We need to work together to be more ambitious. It needs a new impetus."

Festival CEO Susan Kirby said Mr Quinn's comments displayed a lack of understanding of the programme.

She said the 2014 festival had yet to be officially launched, but a large cultural itinerary was planned which involved collaborations with 80 artists.

"I would urge people to familiarise themselves with the programme. We have events in the National Concert Hall, the National Museum and the National Library."

Defending the Merrion Square carnival, Ms Kirby said the funfair was extremely popular with families and particularly teenagers.

She said it might not be to everyone's tastes but was certainly popular with the general public.