The slashing of Waterford Spraoi’s Bord Fáilte funding by 73 per cent over the last two years came under fire at last week’s meeting of Waterford City and County Council, with Manager Michael Walsh cautioning Councillors not to portray an image that the future of the festival was in absolute jeopardy.
Mary Roche (Ind)requested that the Council write to the Arts Council to inform that body that slashing the grant from €53,000 to €17,000 put holding the event into question for 2014.
Fellow Independent Joe Kelly said such a cut put running the festival under severe threat.
“I have spoken to people at Spraoi and they are at their wits’ ends about what to do”, Cllr Kelly added. “To see it die a slow death would be a shame, another nail in the coffin of the city.”
City and County Manager Michael Walsh said he wouldn’t like to portray an image that the festival going ahead this year was in question.
He also noted that the greatest funding cut had not been from the Arts Council but from Bord Fáilte and reinforced Waterford City and County Council’s commitment to “bringing the festival forward”.
Fáilte Ireland funding is used by Spraoi to promote the festival nationally and internationally, as well as to attract high-profile international acts. Sources indicated that both areas will be impacted by the significantly reduced funding.