herald

Saturday 22 November 2014

Tall Ships brought in €13m but we can't afford re-run in 2016

DUBLIN's hosting of the Tall Ships Races earned the capital €13.2m over the four-day festival.

The Docklands was the venue for the finale of the race last August, which saw 1.25m people converge on the capital.

Almost 770,000 Dubliners attended the event, which was organised by Dublin City Council.

City councillors heralded the event as a spectacular showcase of Dublin which received national attention.

Sinn Fein Cllr Criona ni Dhalaigh said: "For once, alcohol wasn't the main attraction and there was very little anti-social behaviour, which was a relief.

"Everything else organised in this city always seems to be based around alcohol."



journeys

Race organisers have already invited Dublin to host the event in three years' time on the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

But the city council says its can't afford to host the event then.

However, councillors called on companies that benefited from the hosting, such as Luas operators Veolia, to contribute. Luas journeys were up by 170,000 on the same week in 2011.

Over 70pc of businesses surveyed said they saw an increase in business during the festival.

Independent Cllr Vincent Jackson said: "We should be putting pressure on companies like Veolia to contribute when we manage to convince people to come into the city for festivals."

According to a report compiled by Sheffield Haslam University, people decided to attend because it was free, family-friendly and easy to access.

Cllr Paddy McCartan expressed his concern that over-55s made up less than a quarter of attendees.

"I was disappointed by the age profile. I think we should encourage older people to come," he said.



sponsors

Failte Ireland came in for criticism by councillors for the amount it contributed to the €3.3m budget.

Independent Cllr Nial Ring complained that: "They only spent a fifth of what we put into the Tall Ships Race, the same as the sponsors."

hnews@herald.ie

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