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Online support for festival revival

An attempt by a Doolin man to revive the Lisdoonvarna Festival has received the support of more than a thousand people from all over the country.

Last week, Éanna Canavan set up a page on social networking site Facebook entitled Bring Back The Lisdoonvarna Festival. Within two days, the page had more than 430 friends and it gained momentum rapidly.
“The response has been fairly good so far. I’m surprised it is that popular. I just wanted to see if the interest was there. Initially it was people from the local area joining, now about half are from North Clare and the rest are from all over,” Mr Canavan stated.
The Lisdoonvarna Festival ran for five years from 1978. It ended after tragedy struck in Doolin on the weekend of the festival in 1983 when eight young people who had travelled to the area for the event were swept out to sea.
While the loss of life overshadowed the festival, many have fond memories of the event celebrated in the song by Christy Moore.
“A lot of people around still talk about it. A lot of people would like to see it back again,” says Éanna.
“There are plenty of trad and folk festivals but there aren’t really any outdoor ones anymore and the name itself has a lot of meaning for people,” he continues.
Twenty-three-year-old Éanna wasn’t even born when the last festival happened but for him the festival is particularly important.
“It was always a special thing to me over the years because it happened close to where I live. The festival happened on my family’s farm. There was always an interest there for years, so I’d love to see it back,” he outlines.
While Éanna studies event management as part of his third-level course at IT Sligo, he is realistic about what it would take to get the festival off the ground again.
“I want to see the festival coming back in some capacity. Things have been in decline in tourism, so this would be great for the area.
“The link is there for people to get on. Surely someone will take note if people keep joining. I am hoping it will be taken up by a promotion company who know what they are doing,” he says.
“To see it this summer would be a bit ambitious but hopefully something will come of it,” Éanna concludes.
To access the Facebook page logon to www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=112991005384922


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