MONEY to get the Foynes Airshow off the ground was the principal concern this week as councillors pushed to have the local authority fill the €100,000 void left by withdrawn sponsorship.
Members of the council’s Cultural committee wanted to use €46,000 that went unclaimed from last year’s budget for events and find another €54,000 to make up for the withdrawal of sponsorship by the Irish Aviation Authority.
Social Development Director Gordon Daly said that if they allocated the money to the airshow, they would be taking it from other events and, in any event, all funding would have to be agreed by a full meeting of the council.
“And if the council comes up with the funding this year, I can’t see any sponsor coming on board which could mean we would have to fund it next year as well and if we did not, then we would be the ones who stopped the Foynes Air Show.
Committee chairman Kieran O’Hanlon (FF) asked: “is it feasible to even get aircraft at this stage?”
Cllr Joe Leddin (Lab) said they should meet with airshow director, Margaret O’Shaughnessy.
“If there is still a possibility that it could go ahead this year, we should have the Mayor go and talk with her to see what we can do.”
Cllr Kevin Sheahan (FF) said “If there’s an indication that money is the only thing stopping it going ahead, then we should call another meeting of this SPC to make a decision on the funding.
Cmhlr Séighin Ó Ceallaigh (SF) said “This is an economic consideration as well. West Limerick has been let down by the Wild Atlantic Way and needs the tourism.”
Members agreed that a meeting be held with the airshow director and if the event could still go ahead, depending on funding, then allocating the €100,000 could be put to the full council.