Post-Gathering plans needed now - O’Neill

Post-Gathering plans needed now - O’Neill
The Gathering has been a real godsend but we need to plan now so that tourism in Donegal doesn’t fall flat next year, a councillor has warned.

The Gathering has been a real godsend but we need to plan now so that tourism in Donegal doesn’t fall flat next year, a councillor has warned.

Cllr. Barry O’Neill (FG) was speaking in his capacity as both county councillor and head of the Rory Gallagher Festival.

Talking to the Donegal Democrat/People’s Press, he said funding agencies must “broaden their thinking, work together and act sooner”. Otherwise, he warned, a number of high profile festivals could “go to the wall”.

He noted that the Rory Gallagher Festival, which has won three national awards, brought 1,500 visitors to Ballyshannon this year. “Still, we are at a crossroads. I know we could take the festival to the next level, but we’re not getting the local support.

“The success of The Gathering has shown the potential of local, volunteer-run festivals attracting overseas visitors.

“In order to do that, though, planning needs to be done at a much earlier stage than is normally done for local festivals,” he said.

Read more in today’s Donegal Democrat/Donegal People’s Press.