This is Spraoi weekend and again will be a time of celebration in the city. The event is well established in the holiday calendar. Last year saw much rain over the August Bank Holiday and that affected crowds.

Hopefully this year we will not have a repeat of such a scenario. The weather break this week must have some of the organisers making some alternative plans. Spraoi gets considerable funding from the Arts Council and we are glad to see this maintained, when you consider how well Kilkenny, Galway and Kerry events are supported. Without an Opera Festival this year, Spraoi has a higher focus for arts and entertainment. (See our new tabloid entertainment called ME to see what is on and organise your schedule).

The entertainment is all free so why not avail of it. Last weekend’s Tramore Music Festival enjoyed great weather and proved a great hit with people.

We know funding could be tight in the coming year but perhaps the Department might give more support, whether with finance or promotions on their web site or even logistically to other festivals in the south east next year. An economic downturn means that it is harder, but encouraging more visitors to come here should be a strong goal for 2009, keeping visitors at home.

The better road infrastructure makes the south east also easier to get to and enjoy, so more please next year.