Christmas to continue in Cork
The President of the Cork Business Association (CBA), Tom Durcan, has insisted that the Christmas in Cork Festival will be well prepared to hold the annual event this year, despite Cork City Council cutting €50,000 from the festival’s budget.
"It’s understandable that cuts have to be made,” said Mr Durcan, who runs a meat business in the English Market.
“There can be a lot of expense to running these festivals but I think the council are playing a blinder at the moment. As these festivals continue year in, year out, you learn to do things cheaper and to cut down on costs. The most expensive year of a festival is usually the first year as it tries to get off the ground.”
Mr Durcan expressed his confidence that sufficient funds remain for the festival to proceed in style. Cork City Council confirmed this week that the festival budget after the cut will be €225,000.
However, Mr Durcan did express concern at some festival who are “running away with themselves.”
“These festivals are dragging people into the city so they should be supported but some of them have gone a bit mad in the past.”
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy was critical of the cut to the festival and the PR of the city.
“We are being outcompeted by Dublin and Belfast and we need to have the armour to survive in this climate and we don’t have that armour,” said Mr McCarthy.
“I always think when we come to the festivals in the city, we undersell them. By even cutting back now we are underselling ourselves. Every year there is a fantastic Christmas in the City, in Fitzgerald’s Park and we haven’t built on that. We haven’t expanded to the the county towns. We haven’t reconnected to the county to the city more and vice versa.”
Mr McCarthy also expressed concern at the amount that was taken out of marketing in the budget cuts, urging for officials to find a more sustainable way forward.
“We need the top marketing gurus who can bring the city forward. We are four years into this recession. We know it’s going to be 10 years so we’re nearly hitting the end of the barrel at the moment.
“We need that spark to get us up from the end of the barrel.”