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St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a success in Waterford

Thanks to everyone who made Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and four-day festival such as success.

Thanks to Grand Marshal Waterford Senior Camogie team, organisers, volunteers, community, sports, arts, music and dance troupes who took part in the Parade …. the sun shone and the smiles shone brighter!

#SeizeTheDeise

 

Photos: Colin Shanahan, DigiCol Photography & Media Productions

Reminder: Road Closure Arrangements – St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Events

Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 75 of the Roads Act 1993, Waterford City & County Council will temporarily close the following public roads to facilitate St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Events, March 17th.

The following Waterford City Roads shall be closed from 11am until 4pm approx. to facilitate the parade.

  • R680 – Merchants Quay
  • R680 – Meagher’s Quay
  • R680 – Coal Quay
  • R680 – Custom House Quay
  • R680 – Parade Quay
  • R680 – The Mall
  • R680 – Parnell Street
  • R708 – Catherine Street
  • L90025 – Colbeck Street
  • L5530 – Lady Lane (from its junction with Bakehouse Lane to Colbeck Street)
  • L90024 – Bank Lane
  • L90307 – Beau Street
  • L90023 – Mall Lane
  • R683 – Lombard Street (from its Junction with Rose Lane to The Mall)
  • L90022 – Adelphi Quay –(from its junction with Rose Lane to Parade Quay)
  • L90021 – Bailey’s New Street
  • L90020 – Greyfriars
  • L90019 – Coffee House Lane
  • L90018 – Henrietta Street
  • L90017 – Keyser Street
  • L5534 – Exchange Street
  • L5535 – Conduit Lane
  • L91091 – Barronstrand Street
  • L5501 – Gladstone Street
  • L1502 – O’Connell Street
  • L15021 – Thomas Hill (from its junction with Meeting House Lane to O’Connell Street)
  • L5506 – Vulcan Street
  • L5505 – Thomas Street
  • L1503 – The Glen (Road No.1)
  • L15033 – The Glen (Road No.3)

March 15th 16th 17th & 18th
From 5pm 15th March until 9pm 18th March O’Connell St from the junction of Hanover St to Meeting House Lane, John Robert’s Square, Broad St, George’s St, Barronstrand St.

Parade Traffic Management Plan
This plan outlines the management of Vehicle traffic for the St. Patricks Day Parade Event to be held on March 17th on the Quays in Waterford City.
Roads shall be closed by Waterford City & County Council Staff using Crowd Control Barriers, traffic Cones and Road Closed Signs.

1. Diversions.

Travelling East on R680 Cork Road.
All traffic for M9, N25 and N24 via Rice Bridge shall be diverted at Cork Road Roundabout and directed to Rice Bridge via R686.
Traffic for Tramore, Waterford Airport, University Hospital Waterford or
Williamstown/Dunmore Road area shall use the Inner Ring Road are unaffected.

Travelling West on R680 Rice Bridge.
The left lane shall be on Rice Bridge shall be closed and all traffic shall be diverted via R686 to R680 Cork Road at the Cork Road Roundabout. All Traffic shall then use normal routes.

Other Routes:
Travelling to Rice Bridge from Tramore, Waterford Airport, University Hospital Waterford or Williamstown/Dunmore Road area shall be diverted via R709 Inner Ring Road to Cork Road Roundabout and the detour via R686.

2. Parking

Parking within the main Quay car parks will be available until approximately 1 hour before the Parade Commences at 1pm and will be reopened 30 minutes after the all clear is called by Event Control. All on-street car parking on the closed roads will be removed 24hours before the parade begins. All other city car parks will be unaffected.

Road Closure Arrangements – St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Events

Notice is hereby given that in accordance with Section 75 of the Roads Act 1993, Waterford City & County Council will temporarily close the following public roads to facilitate St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Events, March 17th.

The following Waterford City Roads shall be closed from 11am until 4pm approx. to facilitate the parade.

  • R680 – Merchants Quay
  • R680 – Meagher’s Quay
  • R680 – Coal Quay
  • R680 – Custom House Quay
  • R680 – Parade Quay
  • R680 – The Mall
  • R680 – Parnell Street
  • R708 – Catherine Street
  • L90025 – Colbeck Street
  • L5530 – Lady Lane (from its junction with Bakehouse Lane to Colbeck Street)
  • L90024 – Bank Lane
  • L90307 – Beau Street
  • L90023 – Mall Lane
  • R683 – Lombard Street (from its Junction with Rose Lane to The Mall)
  • L90022 – Adelphi Quay –(from its junction with Rose Lane to Parade Quay)
  • L90021 – Bailey’s New Street
  • L90020 – Greyfriars
  • L90019 – Coffee House Lane
  • L90018 – Henrietta Street
  • L90017 – Keyser Street
  • L5534 – Exchange Street
  • L5535 – Conduit Lane
  • L91091 – Barronstrand Street
  • L5501 – Gladstone Street
  • L1502 – O’Connell Street
  • L15021 – Thomas Hill (from its junction with Meeting House Lane to O’Connell Street)
  • L5506 – Vulcan Street
  • L5505 – Thomas Street
  • L1503 – The Glen (Road No.1)
  • L15033 – The Glen (Road No.3)

March 15th 16th 17th & 18th
From 5pm 15th March until 9pm 18th March O’Connell St from the junction of Hanover St to Meeting House Lane, John Robert’s Square, Broad St, George’s St, Barronstrand St.

Parade Traffic Management Plan
This plan outlines the management of Vehicle traffic for the St. Patricks Day Parade Event to be held on March 17th on the Quays in Waterford City.
Roads shall be closed by Waterford City & County Council Staff using Crowd Control Barriers, traffic Cones and Road Closed Signs.

1. Diversions.

Travelling East on R680 Cork Road.
All traffic for M9, N25 and N24 via Rice Bridge shall be diverted at Cork Road Roundabout and directed to Rice Bridge via R686.
Traffic for Tramore, Waterford Airport, University Hospital Waterford or
Williamstown/Dunmore Road area shall use the Inner Ring Road are unaffected.

Travelling West on R680 Rice Bridge.
The left lane shall be on Rice Bridge shall be closed and all traffic shall be diverted via R686 to R680 Cork Road at the Cork Road Roundabout. All Traffic shall then use normal routes.

Other Routes:
Travelling to Rice Bridge from Tramore, Waterford Airport, University Hospital Waterford or Williamstown/Dunmore Road area shall be diverted via R709 Inner Ring Road to Cork Road Roundabout and the detour via R686.

2. Parking

Parking within the main Quay car parks will be available until approximately 1 hour before the Parade Commences at 1pm and will be reopened 30 minutes after the all clear is called by Event Control. All on-street car parking on the closed roads will be removed 24hours before the parade begins. All other city car parks will be unaffected.

National Tree Week 2024

National Tree Week 2024National Tree Week is running from March 3rd to March 10th.  This annual event is organised by the Tree Council of Ireland, in partnership with Coillte.

This year’s Tree Week theme, “Planting Trees for a Greener Future” highlights the importance of planting more trees as a crucial component of addressing biodiversity challenges and fighting climate change.

National Tree Week kicked off in Waterford when eight trees were planted at Elm Park in Tramore by Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway.  The trees, mountain ash, were distributed by Waterford City and County Council, along with a further 200 native saplings which were delivered to Tidy Towns groups around Waterford city and county.

Waterford St. Patrick’s Festival

Waterford City and County Council, in association with Fáilte Ireland and EveryEvent, is delighted to announce a jam-packed four-day programme of St. Patrick’s Festival events from Friday, March 15th to Monday, March 18th.

The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’, with community, sports, and charity groups encouraged to get involved to showcase the very best of all things Waterford in a show of colour, music and pageantry.  And best of all…most events are FREE!

With so much to do, see and experience, make sure you don’t miss a beat and download the full programme, with links to all events and where apt, ticket bookings, visit https://stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com/programme-of-events/

Music:  Kick-start your St. Patrick’s Festival weekend with free family fun activities at John Robert’s Square.  Over the four-day festival, Waterford’s city centre will be abuzz with the return of the much-loved City Centre Fairground, perfect fun for the littlest family members.  Wobbly Circus has been enthralling and delighting for years, so don’t miss them throughout the weekend, along with Waterford Active Cities and the Irish Olympic Federation, demonstrating sports skills of all codes.

Local talent will be feature big and bold as the Suir Ukulele Strummers, Waterford Centre of Music Choir, Bienvue Gospel Choir, the Uilleann Pipe Orchestra, EJ Mae, Liam & Bill, Omega 3, Knockadollys, Divorce Party, The Bad Shirts, the Booley House, Mark Atkins, and Caoimhe Power perform free gigs throughout the centre, from the Waterford Cultural Quarter (WCQ) to John Roberts Square to the Apple Market Stage. The Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum band, a Waterford musical institution is the perfect prelude to St. Patrick’s Day at the Bishop’s Palace.

You can soak up the atmosphere of two great sporting clashes as Waterford take on Kilkenny in the National Hurling Final and Ireland and Scotland go head to head in the Six Nations Championship…all on the Big Screen at Bailey’s New Street.

Late night entertainment:  The music continues into the evening with energetic performances from Alan Power and the Aftershocks, Delta Dog, The Bad Shirts and Spring Break on the Apple Market Stage, Louise & Simon Whelan and Amaro Swingos at WCQ and back by phenomenal demand, the Churchyard Sessions at Bailey’s New Street featuring The Mulligans and Mad Ferrit.  The Burning Circus brings its intense, fiery spectacle to the Apple Market Stage when the lights go down!

Craft and entertainment:  With so much to choose from, don’t tie yourself up in knots, although the Celtic Knotwork Workshop in Waterford Cultural Quarter might be the perfect solution in case you do! Lovers of literature be sure to get along to the Spoken Word stage, while Fierce Mild will be bringing the classic 90’s pop tunes we all danced along to.

Arts & Crafts for all:  Paint, print and play at The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Children’s Arts and Crafts Workshops and at City Square Shopping Centre or try your hand at festive Lino Printing at GOMA.

Culture & Tours: Delve into the illustrious history of Ireland’s Oldest City with free entry to the Medieval Museum. You’ll get the steps in with an Afternoon Walking History tour of the Viking Triangle or take a jaunt on the Illuminations Tour when the sun goes down to see the iconic city walls up close.  The Urban Greenway tour quite literally puts the (green) spotlight on the city’s historical monuments and iconic buildings.  You can take the route the Vikings once took and see the city from the majestic River Suir aboard the Osprey Viking Cruise, while the multi-cultural celebration of language, culture and music at St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre is a must.

Theatre:  Garter Lane and the Theatre Royal have a St. Patrick’s Weekend programme that will appeal to all lovers of good music, and rib-tickling comedy.  The Clancy Family returns to the Theatre Royal with songs and memories from the Clancy household, while funnyman Neil Delamare will bring his razor-sharp observations on life and trad.  Everyone’s favourite Cork man, Reggie from the Blackrock Road will play homage to his beloved Leeside at Garter Lane.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade:  The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’ and will begin at 1pm sharp on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17th.  Led by Grand Marshall, All-Ireland finalists, Waterford Senior Camogie team, over 2,000 participants are scheduled to take part in the parade.

The parade begins at Waterford Bus Station and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, moving around to the Mall, with entries gathering at the Bridge Street end of the Quay at the start of the parade.

Optimum viewing positions are from the Quays, where there is plenty of room as well as at   the Mall.  The parade will end at the Mall / Parnell Street junction and we ask that patrons do not congregate in Parnell Street as this area is designated for post-parade and production staff.

Waterford City and County Council is delighted to announce an Autism Family Friendly Area at the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Working with Autism Friendly Waterford and 50 Shades of Exceptional we are proud to introduce this initiative as part of our vision to make Waterford Ireland’s first autism friendly city.  A special area has also been reserved and sign-posted for wheelchair users / special access at Mall Lane.  This is on a first come, first served basis and intending patrons should make themselves known to stewards.

Last minute entries to the parade are still open to community groups from Waterford City, County and beyond – intending participants should complete the application form on the St. Patrick’s Festival website www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

There will also be an online streaming of the Parade, so those who cannot attend but still wish to enjoy the celebrations.

To find out more details of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and four-day festival in Waterford visit www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com to download the 2024 programme and keep an eye out on Waterford St. Patrick’s Day Festival social media channels.

-ends-

Images:

  • The Mulligans
  • Divorce Party
  • Bienvue Gospel Choir
  • 311042355:  The Burning Circus

For further information / arrange an interview:

Johnny Codd
Festival Coordinator
Waterford City and County Council
087 785 0538

John Grubb
Programme coordinator
EveryEvent
086 3403127

New events added to Waterford St. Patrick’s Day Festival Programme

Waterford City and County Council, in association with Fáilte Ireland, is delighted to present a jam-packed four days of craic agus ceol, live entertainment, music and culture taking place from March 15th to March 18th alongside the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Immerse yourself in a vibrant tapestry of traditions, flavours, and rhythms that showcase the rich diversity within our community. Lose yourself in a symphony of sounds, spectacular events and an eclectic mix of historical and cultural attractions taking place throughout the city.

Highlights of the festival include a smorgasbord of free events in Waterford’s Cultural Quarter; the Spoken Word stage, live performances from EJ Mae, Knockadollys, Delta Dogs and Amoro Swings, to name but a few.

Why not step back in time and join the Epic Tour, speciality walking tours, the Illumination Tours and the Dark History tour…all free and all spectacular! Or enjoy free entry to Waterford’s Medieval Museum and GOMA Gallery on March 16th.

The Apple Market Stage will be heaving all weekend as the best of local and national musical talent takes to the stage, including After The Break, Uillean Pipe Orchestra, The Booley House, Omega 3, Divorce Party, Alan Power and the After Shocks, and a fiery performance from the Burning Circus, along with so much more.

Bailey’s New Street will form the backdrop for the Churchyard Sessions featuring great live music along with a big screening of Waterford vs Kilkenny in the Allianz Hurling League, followed by a Six Nations Championship showdown, as Ireland take on Scotland.

Waterford’s Theatre Royal, Garter Lane and St. Patrick’s Gateway have a diverse offering of comedy, culture, folklore and music and John Robert’s Square will host all manner of strummers, choristers, clowns, food, fairgrounds and face-painters.

The parade’s theme is “Seize the Déise”, led by Grand Marshall, Waterford Senior Camogie team, which made history last year by reaching its first All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final in 78 years.

On Sunday, March 17th, the Waterford St. Patrick’s Day parade will start at 1pm, with entries gathering at the Bridge Street end of the Quay. The parade begins at the Waterford Bus Station and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, moving around to the Mall.

Keep an eye out for the full programme of events coming soon on www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

-ENDS-

Attached image:  The Burning Circus

For further information:

Johnny Codd

Festival Coordinator

Waterford City and County Council

087 785 0538

Local Enterprise Office Waterford announces programme for Local Enterprise Week 2024

Waterford Local Enterprise Office has announced a programme of 14 events across 5 days during Local Enterprise Week 2024, taking place for Waterford City and County businesses from March 4th to March 8th.

This year’s Local Enterprise Week will feature a host of informative and engaging workshops, seminars, presentations and advice clinics aimed at local businesses, whether in pre-start, start-up or as an established business looking to grow.

You can learn from the experts in finance, marketing, social media, A.I. and photography. You can create digital opportunities for business, audit your website and source funding.

A key event in this packed programme is the ever popular ‘Social Media Mash-Up’, taking place on Thursday March 7th from 10am to 12.30. Hosted by Teresanne O’Reilly it features digital marketing expert Muriel Foley of MGFD; Stephanie Wickham of Expat Taxes, winner of last year’s Digital Marketing Awards; Kevin Doolan, Director of Innovation at Walton Institute for Information and Communication Systems Science and Paul Dower, founder of Waterford in your pocket.

Tuesday March 5th celebrates the future of enterprise in Waterford with the Student Enterprise Programme County final in the Tower Hotel. 42 businesses from 12 schools will compete on the day for a place at the National Finals in May.

Later in the week the Local Enterprise Office celebrates International Women’s Day with a Dungarvan Chamber event on Thursday evening and a Networking Breakfast event on the Friday morning in the Viking Hotel.

Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford Gareth Evans is looking forward to his first Enterprise Week, “This year’s Local Enterprise Week programme has something for everyone, whatever phase your business is in, or whatever sector your business is in.  The range of events and the calibre of speakers and facilitators have been specifically chosen by the team here in Waterford to address, with practical insight, what is required in achieving your business goals.

“The Local Enterprise Offices are tasked with assisting start-ups and small businesses to “Make it Happen”, each office strives to give these businesses the opportunities and resources to unleash their potential and make the path to growth as unhindered as possible. They also give those thinking of starting or expanding a business access to the full range of supports provided by State bodies and expert third parties, and that cross pollination is well reflected in the 2024 Local Enterprise Week programme.

“Waterford Local Enterprise Office is delighted to work in conjunction with various key business support organisations and state agencies, including Enterprise Ireland, Dungarvan Chamber and Waterford Chamber of Commerce to provide a programme that gives start-ups and small businesses opportunities to help them on the path to growth.”

To register for Local Enterprise Week events taking place in Waterford city and county from March 4th to 8th, visit https://www.localenterprise.ie/!AK56SFMost events are completely free of charge while some have a nominal booking fee.  As with every year, many of the events are expected to book up quickly so early booking is strongly advised.

ENDS

Ag súil le Féile Lá Fhéile Pádraig i bPort Láirge ☘️ More to look forward to at Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Ag súil le Féile Lá Fhéile Pádraig i bPort Láirge

Ag eascairt as an rath a bhí ar Fhéile Lá Fhéile Pádraig na bliana seo caite i gCathair Phort Láirge, tá lúcháir ar Chomhairle Cathrach agus Contae Phort Láirge, i gcomhar le Fáilte Éireann agus EveryEvent, clár imeachtaí ceithre lá a fhógairt ón Aoine, an 15 Márta go dtí an Luan, 18 Márta.

Is é téama mhórshiúil na bliana seo ná ‘Seize the Déise’, agus spreagtar grúpaí pobail, spóirt agus carthanachta páirt a ghlacadh ann chun sárthaispeántas datha, ceoil agus mórthaibhseachta a chur ar fáil, ag léiriú na gnéithe is fearr de Phort Láirge.

D’fháiltigh Méara Chathair agus Chontae Phort Láirge, An Comhairleoir Seosamh Ó Conmhuí roimh fhéile níos mó agus níos fearr arís in 2024, ag rá, “Ní fhéadfadh an téama a bheith níos feiliúnaí do chontae atá ag dul chun feabhais go mór.

“Is iontach don chathair agus don chontae an aird idirnáisiúnta atá tarraingthe ar Phort Láirge le cúpla mí anuas…ó Chathair na Nollag na hEorpa go dtí an Chathair is Glaine in Éirinn, agus táimid fiú ar liosta ‘Go to in 2024’ de chuid an New York Times.

“Ní fhéadfadh am níos fearr a bheith ann dúinn go léir gníomhú faoin dtéama ‘Seize the Déise’ agus a bheith bródúil as an méid atá bainte amach ag an gcontae.”

Tá Johnny Codd, Stiúrthóir na Féile le Comhairle Cathrach agus Contae Phort Láirge ag spreagadh a oiread grúpaí agus is féidir chun páirt a ghlacadh sa mhórshiúl i mbliana. “Tá saibhreas staire, oidhreachta, cultúir agus áiseanna turasóireachta ag Port Láirge, ach is é an pobal an rud is speisialta atá againn.

“Táimid ag súil go bhfeicfimid na daoine, na grúpaí pobail, na clubanna spóirt, na grúpaí carthanachta, na bannaí, na ceoltóirí agus na daoine cruthaitheacha ag glacadh páirte i Mórshiúl Lá Fhéile Pádraig i mbliana, a dhéanfaidh an bealach ón Stáisiún Bus ar an gCé go dtí an seastán féachana ar an Meal.”

“Beidh tarraingteacht fhairsing do gach aois ag na himeachtaí a bheidh mar chuid den fhéile ceithre lá i mbliana. Agus sinn ag cur bailchríoch ar chlár na féile le EveryEvent, bí cinnte go mbeidh roinnt imeachtaí iontacha ar siúl le linn na féile ceithre lá.”

Deir John Grubb ó EveryEvent; “Is deis iontach é Mórshiúl Lá Fhéile Pádraig do ghrúpaí de gach cineál, seánra, aois agus méid chun an méid is fearr a dhéanann siad a thaispeáint don domhan mór. Bíonn iontas orainn gach bliain as an iarracht iontach a dhéanann rannpháirtithe an mhórshiúil cur le spiorad na Féile Pádraig, le bratacha, cultacha, dath, agus díograis mhór.”

“Ní fhéadfadh an téama ‘Seize the Déise’ a bheith níos oiriúnaí. Baineann sé linn go léir a bheith ag dul amach, ag baint suilt as an lá agus ag ceiliúradh gach rud atá le tairiscint ag Port Láirge.”

Agus barr feabhais á chur ar an gclár ceithre lá, tabharfar an t-eolas go léir ar na himeachtaí sna seachtainí amach romhainn.

Idir an dá linn, áfach, más mian le do ghrúpa páirt a ghlacadh sa mhórshiúl ar an Domhnach, an 17 Márta, is féidir clárú ag www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

More to look forward to at Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Following the success of last year’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Waterford, Waterford City and County Council, in association with Fáilte Ireland and EveryEvent, is delighted to announce a jam-packed four-day programme of events from Friday, March 15th to Monday, March 18th.

The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’, with community, sports, and charity groups encouraged to get involved to showcase the very best of all things Waterford in a show of colour, music and pageantry.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed the return of an even bigger and better festival in 2024, saying, “The theme couldn’t be more fitting for a county that is on a phenomenal upward trajectory.  The international attention Waterford has garnered in the last few months has been wonderful for the city and county…from European City of Christmas to Ireland’s Cleanest City, and we’re even on New York Times ‘Go to in 2024’ list.

“There couldn’t be a better time for us all to ‘Seize the Déise’ and take great pride in what the county has achieved.”

Johnny Codd, Festival Director with Waterford City and County Council is encouraging as many groups as possible to get involved in the parade this year.  “Waterford has a wealth of history, heritage, culture, and tourism amenities, but what makes it special is its people.  We are hoping to see the people, the community groups, the sports clubs, the charity groups, the bands, the musicians, and the creatives taking part in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year, which will once again wind its way from the Bus Station on the Quay to the viewing stand on the Mall.”

“The events making up the four-day festival this year will have a wide-ranging appeal to all ages.  While we are putting the finishing touches to the festival programme with EveryEvent, rest assured that there will be some great events taking place over the four day festival.”

John Grubb of EveryEvent added, “The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a fantastic opportunity for groups of all types, genres, ages and sizes to showcase what they do best.  Each year we are amazed at the fantastic effort parade participants go to getting into the spirit of the St. Patrick’s festival, with bunting, costumes, colour, and great enthusiasm.”

“The theme Seize the Déise couldn’t be more apt.  It’s about us all getting out there, enjoying the moment and celebrating all that Waterford has to offer.”

With the final touches being put to the four-day programme, all will be revealed in the coming weeks.

However, in the meantime, if your group would like to take part in the parade on Sunday, March 17th, you can register at www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

Waterford selected to host World Rally Championship

Rallying clubs, motor enthusiasts and the business community across the South East are celebrating today, as MotorSport Ireland President Mr. Aiden Harper announced the World Rally Championships is set to be hosted in the region for one of the three years, with Limerick and Kerry hosting the other two years.

This will be the largest event ever to be staged in the region, with the base camp being specially erected in Waterford, attracting thousands of visitors to Waterford and surrounding counties, as well as 841 million TV viewers across the world.

Graham Scallan, Chairman of the South East Region Group (SERG), thanked the panel of Motorsport Ireland and FIA delegates for selecting the South East to host this world event over the coming years, saying. “We are thrilled, honoured and humbled by the successful outcome, all members involved in our voluntary bid committee put in a huge amount of work to help us achieve this result. The nine clubs have 472 years of experience in running motorsport events and we look forward to working closely with the WRC Promoter on planning the event. I would also like to thank the County Councils, Chambers of Commerce and Local Authorities in the South East Region, The Port of Waterford and everyone who supported us on our successful bid.”

According to James Coleman, Vice-Chair of SERG (South East Regional Group): “It has taken months of hard work to get to this point and we couldn’t be more overjoyed. The collaborative effort across the region that was shown in order to get this over the line was exemplary and we look forward to working with all stakeholders as we set about making this the best World Rally Championship venue ever. Having three South East Local Authority Chief Executives, namely Michael Walsh, Lar Power and Tom Enright, involved in the process showed unity and collaboration across the region, which is hugely important, not just in terms of the World Rally Championship, but for the development of our region as a whole.

“We presented an unmatched opportunity for an exhilarating and successful event, equipped with our excellent road networks and infrastructure, providing convenient access for both participants and spectators. Waterford City offers ample accommodation opportunities, picturesque landscapes with historical cultural attractions as an ideal backdrop for the world rally championship.

“It is fitting the event is coming to the homeplace of the late Craig Breen and it is an incredible way to honour his contribution to the sport.

“Right now we just want to savour this moment as the first leg in the journey and then the hard work will truly begin but be assured, it’s going to be epic.”

Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber of Commerce, was also heavily involved with the bid and said the economic benefits are astounding.

“It is projected that this will generate in excess of €100 million windfall for the region and everyone will benefit from this in the long run, hospitality, tourism, retail and more.

“We already know Waterford offers the best in terms of festivals and live events and this will be no different. We have worked very closely with SERG, the regional Local Authorities, the Port of Waterford and Failte Ireland on realising this dream and we are confident of the long-lasting benefits it will bring to the region.”

Meanwhile, Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council said: “We had tough competition from Limerick and Tralee in this bid, but I have no doubt in my mind that the judging panel made the right decision. I, along with my regional colleagues, have offered our full commitment to this and every accommodation will be made to ensure a successful event. While we understand rallying may be a niche sport, the positive impact this will have on our city and wider region is widespread. It’s a wonderful way to start the new year and we look forward to working with Motor Sport Ireland and all stakeholders as the months and years progress.”

The World Rally Championship 2025 is expected to take place in late August/early September, with similar dates in 2026 and 2027 and is subject to Government funding.

The host years for each venue is still to be decided.

Waterford officially recognised as European City of Christmas 2024 at ceremony in Madrid

At a ceremony at Torrejón de Ardoz in Madrid on January 3rd, 2024, Waterford was officially recognised as the European City of Christmas 2024 by the International Jury of the European Capital of Christmas.

Waterford was proudly represented by Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, along with his wife Sandra, Finn Brophy, Executive Technician with Waterford City and County Council’s Economic Development Department, and members of Winterval Organising Committee, Trevor Darmody, John Grubb, and Tina Darrer.

In December last year, the International Jury of the European Capital and City of Christmas 2024 competition unanimously voted to award the European City of Christmas 2024 title to Waterford City.

The International Jury, chaired by Prof. Dr. Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, was impressed with Waterford City and County Council’s submission, citing, ‘The City of Waterford is an extraordinary jewel of Christmas harmony and aesthetics and represents values such as solidarity, which lies with the local communities as well as a strong commitment to its heritage as a hallmark of identity, material and above all immaterial and culture.

On accepting the award on behalf of the people of Waterford, Mayor Conway greeted the judging panel and attendees in Spanish and said, “On behalf of the people of Waterford, I want to say how happy we are to be here in Madrid to receive our recognition as the European City of Christmas 2024.”

He added, “I want to endorse the splendid work done by Waterford City and County Council for their continued faith and support of Winterval Waterford…to our management team, and in particular Finn Brophy, Trevor Darmody, John Grubb, and Tina Darrer from Waterford’s vibrant commercial and hospitality sectors, for their inspiring and diligent work for our lovely city in Ireland’s southeast.

“I wish also, of course, to record our thanks to all involved in the judging of the event and express special thanks to Alberto Gutiérrez Alberca, president of the Christmas Cities Network, who led the creation of the Award in 2017 and the people of Torrejón de Ardoz for their tremendous hospitality.”

Winterval, Ireland’s Christmas Festival, was created by Waterford City and County Council in partnership with local stakeholders in 2012 and is regarded as the country’s premier Christmas festival.  The festival concluded on December 23rd, having run for six weeks and enjoyed a ‘record-breaking’ year with 700,000 people enjoying an abundance of Christmas magic and festive family favourites in Ireland’s Best Place to Live.

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive of Waterford City and County Council congratulated the team involved in securing the title of European City of Christmas, saying, “Winterval is synonymous with Christmas in Waterford and Ireland, and now has rightfully been acknowledged as being on a par with European cities of Christmas such as Genoa, San Sebastián, Liège and Valkenburg.

“The input from the Local Authority, the organising committee, stakeholders and the local business community has been exceptional and steadfast, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment and hard work in bringing this prestigious title to Waterford.”

Waterford, now part of the European Christmas City Network, will be assisted in forging alliances with Christmas cities within the network and working with European Christmas cities to share knowledge, experience, and creative ideas.

The European Christmas City Network, which is supported by the European Parliament, was founded to promote the values of European culture diversity, and especially the different and varied Christmas traditions throughout Europe that have transcended in the world.

In addition to Waterford been recognised as the European City of Christmas 2024, Brno in the Czech Republic was recognised as European Christmas Capital, while special mention was given to the small municipality of Almanza in Spain with less than 600 inhabitants.

The International Jury of the European Capital and City of Christmas will visit Waterford in 2024 and plans are already underway to create a festive spectacular befitting of the European City of Christmas title.

For further information about the European Capital and City of Christmas visit www.europeancapitalofchristmas.org

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Miguel López-Valverde Argüeso, Minister of Digitalization of the Community of Madrid, John Grubb (Every Event Ltd), Festival Director of Winterval, Trevor Darmody (WAMA Ltd) Festival Director of Winterval, Finn Brophy, Waterford City and County Council and Event Controller of Winterval, Mayor of Torrejón de Ardoz, Alejandro Navarro Prieto; Danuta Hübner, President of the International Jury, former European Commissioner for Regional Policy and Trade, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and MEP; Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway and Tina Darrer (Dooleys Hotel) Member of the Winterval Committee.

Waterford City & County Council Festival & Event Grants for 2024

Waterford City and County Council has approved the allocation of €1,653,557 in festival and event funding to aid the development and promotion of events across Waterford City and County in 2024.

The figure represents a 6% increase in last year’s funding allocation.

In 2024 the allocation will support 71 festivals and events throughout the city and county.  The main thrust of the funding is to support, and promote local festivals that have an economic, tourism, cultural, artistic or community benefit for Waterford.  Funding is also in place to provide training support to help local festivals and events develop and grow.

In addition to the mainstay big-ticket festivals such as Spraoi International Street Arts Festival, West Waterford Festival of Food, Waterford Harvest Festival, Blackwater Valley Opera Festival and Winterval, Waterford can look forward to fourteen brand new festivals in 2024, including Lismore Community Festival, Waterford International Comic Art Festival and Waterford Pet Awards and Doggie Day Out.

Speaking following the adoption of the Festival and Events Grants for 2024 Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said, “As Mayor I am delighted that Waterford City and County Council is showing true intent in supporting our vast array of artists, musicians, entertainers, producers and creatives.

“Whether the festivals are well-established or new additions to the calendar, they have one trait in common…they are a true reflection of the talent, creativity and passion that Waterford’s communities have in spades.”

Michael Quinn, Director of Services with Waterford City and County Council added, “Waterford City and County Council has always been committed to supporting strong community spirit, in the form of festivals and events.  2024 will see that community spirit feature prominently throughout the year, with festivals bookending the year, starting in January and running right through to the 12th Winterval Christmas Festival, in what is officially set to be the European City of Christmas in 2024.”

“Waterford has always produced an entertaining, inclusive, and eclectic programme of events throughout the year.  This year we are particularly pleased to add fourteen new festivals to the list of funding and we look forward to seeing the range of new and distinctive events making their mark on the city and county.”

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A festive Féile Grianstad is coming to Dungarvan

On Thursday December 21st the skies of Dungarvan will light up for Féile Grianstad, as the town centre will be the backdrop for an amazing solstice celebration.

The free festivities kick off at 5pm with a series of ‘ceolchoirmeacha agus craic’, featuring Dungarvan’s own Loungeroom Lizards, Danny and Tommy Dunford, Andy Dunne, Brendan Clancy, Benny McCarthy, Joe Kelly and friends.

Santa Claus and his naughty nemesis Krampus will make a special appearance and you never know who else may turn up at the party.

Then at 9pm, a very special sound and light extravaganza is planned as a spectacular fireworks display bursts into the skies to the beat of the bodhrán on Dungarvan’s beautiful quays.

This year Dungarvan Town Square will be partially closed off from lunchtime on December 21st to facilitate the ‘Big Stage’. Earlier in the morning the Square will be the scene of a special weekly market with the emphasis on all things Christmas.

Those coming to Dungarvan are encouraged to park outside the town and walk to Grattan Square for the festivities.  Immediately prior to the fireworks display the quays will be closed to all traffic to facilitate the safe passage of pedestrians and viewers.

The long-term plans for the festival will see a vibrant mix of community arts and entertainment that will animate and illuminate the shortest days and the longest nights with fun, traditional hearty food, song, storytelling, and winter warmth.

Older than Santa Claus, and well before the Vikings arrived, the origin of this festival symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and the promise of renewed life.

Féile Grianstad is an initiative of Waterford City and County Council Arts Office, in association with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media.

Waterford selected as European City of Christmas 2024

The International Jury of the European Capital and City of Christmas 2024 competition has unanimously voted to award the European City of Christmas 2024 title to Waterford City.

The International Jury, chaired by Danuta Hübner, Member of the European Parliament, and comprised of Mr Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, Mr Francisco Fonseca Murillo, Ms Marisol Garmendia, Ms Ainhoa García Jabonero, Mr Massimo Ruggero, Ms Mercedes Guillamón, assisted by the president of Christmas Cities Network, Alberto Gutiérrez Alberca, congratulated the city for “the high level of the projects presented, their proposals and the commitment of these cities to the European values of Christmas.”

 

The judging panel was impressed with Waterford City and County Council’s submission, citing, ‘The City of Waterford is an extraordinary jewel of Christmas harmony and aesthetics and represents values such as solidarity, which lies with the local communities as well as a strong commitment to its heritage as a hallmark of identity, material and above all immaterial and culture.’

 

It continued, ‘Waterford represents the ultimate expression of creative culture thanks to the great work done with its illuminations and markets.  Just as the streets become the perfect setting when associations, tourists and neighbours come together in a Christmas experience with its own identity.’

 

Winterval, Ireland’s biggest and best-loved Christmas festival will form the basis for Waterford as the European City of Christmas 2024.

As Ireland’s First dedicated Christmas festival, created by Waterford City and County Council in partnership with local stakeholders in 2012, year after year the festival has attracted on average 500,000 visitors throughout its six-week calendar.

 

As a festival for everyone of all ages and interests, Winterval 2024 promises to be the biggest Festival hosted in Waterford, with over 700,000 visitors anticipated to the festival, which will showcase the true meaning of an Irish Christmas, focusing on family and togetherness, communities and connectedness through arts, culture, food and entertainment.

 

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr Joe Conway was delighted with such a prestigious accolade for Waterford, saying, “When it comes to Christmas celebrations, Waterford City and County Council has a track record to be proud of.  Since its inception in 2012, Winterval has grown to become Irelands favourite Christmas Festival, with an abundance of Christmas magic, festive family favourites and seasonal surprises.

 

Its success stems from several factors which include local authority funding and commitment, strong stakeholder engagement and a festival team that has a flair for bringing the most festive, wonder-filled and engaging events to the streets of Waterford.

 

Being recognised and awarded such a prestigious title as the European City of Christmas is a wonderful testament to Waterford of Christmases past and how Waterford is best in class when it comes to embracing the magic of Christmas.”

 

The directors of the Winterval Festival, John Grubb and Trevor Darmody are thrilled with the win. We are delighted to see Waterford awarded the European City of Christmas 2024. The business community, the Winterval festival team and the festivals volunteers backed by Waterford City and County Council work incredibly hard to deliver a magical Winter wonderland in the city each year, so, it is a real honour and testament to see this accolade come to Waterford and indeed Ireland for the first time for 2024. This award also means that the 2024 festival will be even extra special next year and planning for that is already underway!”

 

In addition to this award, Brno (Czech Republic) has been awarded the European Christmas Capital title, while special mention was given to the small municipality of Almaza (Spain) with less than 600 inhabitants.

 

The International Jury of the European Capital and City will officially present Waterford with the award and title at an awards ceremony in Madrid in early January 2024.

 

For further information about the European Capital and City of Christmas visit www.europeancapitalofchristmas.org

 

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