Youghal Plans Retractable Roof For Town Centre – By Christy Parker
A RETRACTABLE ROOF STRUCTURE is to be installed in Youghal’s town centre to facilitate festival events during adverse weather. The innovative installation will be a fixed structure and will provide immense reassurance to local organisations organising festivals or other celebratory occasions at Barry’s Lane, adjacent to the Clock Gate. .
The initiative follows a proposed €150,000 capital expenditure grant from SECAD towards the town’s tourism, heritage and sports structures. The agency urged an integrated approach across the various interests to maximise the benefit to the community.
Three meetings ensued, attended by representatives of the diverse groups such as Youghal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Youghal 4 All community group, Comhaltas Craobh Eochaille, Youghal Celebrates History and the Medieval, heritage and Queen of the Sea festival organisers
Eventually the retractable roof emerged as a top priority for a town that that has become increasingly dependent on tourism and outdoor events to promote economic activity. It is understood that private donations and some public contributions will underwrite 25% of the grant aid as per normal conditions.
The decision to acquire the roof follows the inaugural Moby Dick Festival over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. While otherwise excellent and well supported, the three-day event battled with inclement weather much as Ahab tackled his fishy adversary in Herman Melville’s story.
Chairman of Comhaltas Craobh Eochaille, Micheál de Butléir welcomed the move as “hugely important” in the town’s development as a visitor attraction. “Our group could more easily commit to performing in Barry’s Lane now,” he observes, adding that, “Of particular importance, this helps to bring about co-operation amongst Youghal’s various organisations toward the common goal of promoting tourism and culture.” Youghal 4 All Chairman Jim Flanagan said the roof would be “of immense value” to the town.
Further meetings are now planned to progress the project through the tendering and public consultation processes, which will be managed by Youghal Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in tandem, with the Youghal Socio Economic Development Group (YSEDG), on behalf of all interests
COMHALTAS CRAOBH EOCHAILLE has received €30,000 from Cork County Council’s Community Grant Scheme. The award follows an application for €100,000 over three years and while it remains unknown whether further funding will be forthcoming, Comhaltas chairman Micheál De Buitléir is delighted with this year’s success. “It’s very welcome and I like to think it reflects the county council’s confidence in us and our contribution to culture and tourism in the county,” he says. Mr De Buitléir says the money will contribute towards the organisation’s planned extension to its Brú na Sí headquarters at Magner’s Hill. The development is intended to augment training and education facilities at the centre.
The grant allocation comes amidst a hectic period for Comhaltas Craobh Eochaille. A recently week’s schedule included Brú na Sí performances on Monday and Thursday nights, along with a gig in the Commodore hotel Cobh on Wednesday, a further outing at the Radisson Hotel, Little Island on Friday, followed by participation in the annual Munster Fleadh Cheoil in Ballincollig on Saturday and Sunday.