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19 May 2022

Clonmel Busking Festival chairman appeals at Tipperary County Council meeting for more funding

Clonmel Busking Festival chairman appeals at county council meeting for more funding

A family fun day at Denis Burke Park in Clonmel during the Clonmel Busking Festival a few years ago. Picture: John D Kelly

The Chairman of Clonmel’s Busking Festival committee has made a direct appeal to Tipperary County Council’s Arts Office for more funding to enable the festival to go ahead this summer.
Cllr Pat English issued the call at Tipperary County Council’s April meeting when the allocation of Arts Grants worth €31,720 to 24 theatre, musical, choral and arts groups and projects across the county came before the meeting for approval.
The Clonmel councillor warned at a recent meeting of Clonmel Borough District’s elected members that the Busking Festival may not be staged this summer because of the drop in grant aid from the council that means the volunteer organisers won’t be able to cover the financial costs.
He raised the issue again at the county council meeting, describing the €5,000 reduction in grant aid as a “serious blow” to the festival and urging the council’s Arts Officer Melanie Scott to reconsider the festival’s grant application.
County council Cathaoirleach Cllr Marie Murphy pointed out to Cllr English that grant aid for the Busking Festival was allocated under the Arts Grants Scheme and suggested he raise the issue again at Clonmel Borough District level.
But Cllr English responded that the drop in grant aid to the Busking Festival was from the central county council funds not Borough District funds. Central council funding for the festival had fallen from €6,000 to €1,000.
Fellow Clonmel Cllr Richie Molloy supported Cllr English’s appeal. He said festivals were the way forward for communities after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and thousands of people attended the Busking Festival. He argued that voluntary committees like the one running the Busking Festival are feeling the pinch and need to be helped.
Tipperary County Council Arts Officer Melanie Scott responded that the Busking Festival was funded under the Festival Events Scheme, which was different to the Arts Scheme presented to the council meeting. However, she gave a commitment to talk to Clonmel Borough District in relation to the issue Cllr English had raised.
Meanwhile, 12 theatre, music, choral and arts groups and projects from south Tipperary were among the 24 groups approved council Arts Grants ranging from €500 to €2,000 to assist them with staging drama, music, theatre, choral and arts events.
They included: St Mary’s Choral Society, Clonmel (€2,000), Tipperary Musical Society (€2,000), Contempo Choir, Clonmel (€1,500), Suircan Environmental for visual arts (€1,500), Uproar Rock Chorus, Clonmel (€1,500), Cahir Comhaltas (€1,500), Mountain Lodge Restoration Committee (€1,000), Junior STAG Clonmel (€1,000) Belle Voci Choir, Clonmel (€1,000), Fionn MacCumhail Players, Mullinahone (€800), Dreamtime Theatre, Annacarty (€650), Cashel Choral & Drama Society (€500).

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