Féile Oriel in jeopardy after Peace III funding rejection

1 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard


Monaghan’s flagship annual traditional music and arts event, the Féile Oriel Festival — which is due to take place this year on the May Bank Holiday weekend — was placed in jeopardy yesterday when a crucial funding application for the project was rejected by Monaghan Co Council’s Peace III Partnership.
It is understood that an application for about €35,000 in Peace III funding had been submitted in respect of this year’s event, but that the relevant section of the Co Council did not believe itself to be in a position to make the funding available.
Spokespersons for Féile Oriel told the Northern Standard yesterday that it was difficult to see how the festival could go ahead at this stage if the funding was not available, and they called on the board to urgently revisit the issue.
It was pointed out by the festival organisers that it had attracted 7,500 visitors last year and was providing a significant economic injection to the county town during difficult times.
The last thing Monaghan needed at this point in time was to lose the event because of a failure to provide what was a relatively modest level of support, in terms of the monies understood to be available through the Co Council managed fund.
A hastily arranged meeting of Monaghan Town Council was held on Monday of this week, at which the possibility of the funding being withdrawn was highlighted.
Since being revived in 2009 for the first time since 1997, Féile Oriel has sought to facilitate both sites of the historical political divide — a key Peace funding requirement — in its wide-ranging programme of events.
Plans for this year’s festival from 29th April–1st May had been well advanced, with a programme that will include major traditional artists like Lunasa, Beoga, Brian Finnegan, Anuna, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Dezi Donnelly, Jim Murray, T With The Maggies (who recently featured on the Late Late Show), Téada and more.
It has been reported that the Peace III Partnership’s decision not to support the event this year was arrived at when the application narrowly failed to reach certain criterion.
The organisers say they now hope this decision will be looked at again, in view of the short-time frame available to organise and publicise the festival.

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