WHILE the Shannon Mayor’s Ball was set to be a casualty of the recession, a U-turn has been made and it will now go ahead later this year.
The Mayor’s Ball is one of the more notable events on Shannon’s social calendar but before Christmas, Mayor Seán McLoughlin announced that it would not be going ahead in 2010, due to the prevailing economic conditions.
Councillor McLoughlin said that instead he was hoping to organise smaller fundraising events to benefit the Shannon Flyers Special Olympics Club and the Shannon Senior Citizens’ Club.
However, he has now announced that the ball will go ahead, in part due to the reaction of the local public.
“A lot of people came to me and they said it was a shame it wasn’t going ahead. People said that it was one of three main social events in Shannon, along with the St Patrick’s Day Parade and the performance by the Shannon Musical Society.
“They are the three events that people look forward to and it has been decided to go ahead with it.”
While a date for the ball has not yet been set, it is expected to be in May.
Councillor McLoughlin also said that attempts to raise money for the two groups by alternative means hadn’t really worked.
“The Special Olympics Club have five kids on the Munster team, so they need to raise money, while the senior citizens’ group are working to develop a new centre. We tried to look at running other events to support them but it didn’t work out so it was decided that the only way to go was to go back and have the ball. These organisations need to raise money and hopefully there will be a good turnout.”
Total ticket sales for the 2009 Mayor’s Ball came to €13,090, while there were also donations of €1,270. The Shannon Family Resource Centre and Wolfe Tones Camogie Club were the two local organisations that benefited from it.
Speaking after it, the then Mayor of Shannon Gerry Flynn said that the ball had been well supported, given the terrible economic conditions.
“I was delighted for both the Family Resource Centre and the camogie club. They make an invaluable contribution to the community and the money will make a big difference to them.”
However, long-serving Councillor Patricia McCarthy said she wondered if an alternative means of fundraising might be preferable in the current climate.
“I’d prefer if a way could be found to raise money without incurring expenses, particularly given the current climate. There are a number of groups that are finding things difficult and I wonder if it would be possible to raise money in another way.”