Clare County Council today announced that applications for funding are now being sought under the Community Tourism Initiative for the Diaspora.
The initiative, launched last year, builds on the community involvement legacy of The Gathering 2013 and is a joint partnership between Clare County Council, IPB Insurance and Fáilte Ireland.
Now in its second year, the scheme provides a national fund of €1m to support local community-based events and festivals each year. Last year, 31 local events were supported in Clare, attracting over 1,400 visitors from overseas.
The festivals funded last year included the Tuamgraney Community Weekend, Rose of Clare Festival, Celebrate Scattery Island, Tulla Trad Festival, Festival Of Finn, Doolin Folk Festival, Kilrush Traditional Music & Set Dancing Festival, and the Kilmurry Harvest Festival and All Ireland Vintage Show.
Administered locally by Clare County Council, the application process for 2015 is now open and will close on March 31st. Interested parties can contact Ailish McMahon, Tourism & Community Department, Clare County Council, on 065 6846476 / firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Announcing this year’s funding, Councillor John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said: “We all witnessed the benefits from The Gathering and this scheme gives us an opportunity to build on its legacy. The Community Tourism Initiative allows us to sustain many of the grass roots networks which sprang to life during The Gathering in Clare and sustain an infrastructure of events and relationships which will have long term tourism and social benefits for this region for many years to come.”
“For that reason, I would urge anyone out there with a good idea or interesting event, which would help us to reach out to the diaspora, to get in touch with us and make an application,” added the Cathaoirleach.
Local authorities throughout the country are now accepting applications in order to determine those local events with the best potential to have the impact and long-term potential to make a difference. The initiative is being administered at local level with the grant applications and awards being decided in accordance with agreed national criteria.