Mahon hits out at support for festivals and Fermanagh
Published: 19 Jul 2012 13:000 comments
The Sinn Fein councillor, who didn't turn up to the launch of the event in Irvinestown on Friday night because he didn't get an invite, has been heavily criticised by Mr. Mahon.
"What he said really annoyed me - the festival has been going for 34 years and the programme suits everybody. He said he didn't know anybody from Erne East that attended the Lady of the Lake. I told him that Liam Connolly, from Lisnaskea, brings 20 lorries and supporters every year. I told him that people from all over Northern Ireland visited the festival. I didn't realise I had to invite him. After all the tourists we bring into Fermanagh you would have thought the chairman of the council would have been there," he stated.
Asked to clarify this comments yesterday, Mr. O'Reilly told us: "I said I didn't know anybody that went down to Lady of the Lake [from Erne East]. I said that to Joe and he got all tickled about it. But that's all I said. I think it's an absolutely brilliant festival and have been going to it for a few years. It is a wonderful festival and is so well organised and run by a small committee of dedicated people."
Asked why he thought people from Erne East weren't going to the festival, like he claims, he replied: "No idea" and added: "I don't know. It's up to people to go to wherever they want to go themselves... I don't know. For all I know, hundreds of people go from the Erne East area... I have no idea. All I said to Joe was, I didn't know anybody who went."
Mr. O'Reilly said he didn't attend the launch on Friday night in his role as chairman because he "had something else on". In a phone call later, he added: "I didn't get an invite".
But Mr. Mahon's issues don't end there. He says he is also annoyed that Tourism Minister Arlene Foster didn't attend the launch of the festival's annual charity truck convoy in Belfast.
The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA was unable to attend the event in May due to diary commitments.
"She was invited to the launch of the truck convoy. I was disappointed that she didn't come to the launch - the truck convoy is one of the biggest events in Europe and she's the Tourism Minister," he said.
As the Lady of the Lake Festival reaches its climax on Sunday, Mr. Mahon says he is thankful for the support he does get from public representatives. However, he believes more should be done to support the cross-community venture and indeed, other, smaller events in Fermanagh.
"We get a grant from the council for £1800 and Waterways Ireland give us £1000. But it costs us over £20,000 to run the festival. We gather the money up ourselves from sponsorship, advertising and from local traders. The festival is a big success locally, but if we got a few pounds towards running the festival you could make it an even bigger event.
"Fermanagh needs support too, not just Belfast. I think tourism is about people. Small community festivals are important and are needed to bring in tourism," he said.
Asked for her view that not enough is being done to promote Fermanagh, Arlene Foster MLA, said: "Just last week 20,000 people visited Enniskillen to attend the flagship Twelfth parade. In an historic first, I along with First Minister Peter Robinson, hosted the Republic of Ireland's minister responsible for tourism, Leo Varadkar. During his visit, he also had a chance to take in the breathtaking scenery of Fermanagh on board the NI 2012 branded MV Kestrel boat."
Mrs. Foster described this as "another excellent shop window for Fermanagh", adding: "It followed on from the wonderful event earlier this month when Enniskillen hosted Her Majesty The Queen, which was beamed across the world.
"NI2012 has supported a large number of events throughout Northern Ireland, including the Beckett Festival and the Clogher Valley Show, however festival scale events funding was devolved to local government during the last Assembly term," she said.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
8 Mar 2014 13:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
There were emotional scenes in a Derrylin hair salon last Friday as 10-year-old Katie Corrigan had 10 inches of her beautiful blonde hair cut off.
8 Mar 2014 10:00 • Brian Donaldson
With the 100th anniversary of the First World War being commemorated this year, there are many events throughout the county to mark this historic event.
7 Mar 2014 22:05
Fermanagh manager Pete McGrath has made two changes to his starting team from the side that started against Longford against last Sunday
7 Mar 2014 21:30 • Editorial Department
A shoplifting couple caught stealing clothes from a number of shops in Enniskillen “hope to start afresh” in Belfast.
7 Mar 2014 19:00 • Editorial Department
Ballinamallard United are in for a busy few days with two big games in three days coming up.
7 Mar 2014 15:00
Fermanagh Trust @FermanaghTrust Taxes do NOT cover the cost of Children’s Hospice @NIHospice but do fund play parks, business support services, airport hangars, etc WHY?
7 Mar 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
ROARING engines and squealing tyres may become a thing of the past in Hollyhill link car park after Fermanagh District Council teamed up with the PSNI and Road Service to tackle the problem.
7 Mar 2014 11:50 • Editorial Department
Police are releasing an efit image based on a description of a man they would like to speak to.
7 Mar 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane
Pictured 50 years ago are Mrs. Florence Carrothers, Saloon, Ballinamallard (on right) and Miss Dorrie Foy, of Wheathill, Derrygonelly, who share the Hassard Cup as they were equal in gaining the greatest number of points in the home baking section of the County Show.
7 Mar 2014 10:00 • Rodney Edwards
SINN Fein’s Phil Flanagan (pictured) has described the behaviour of some financial institutions as “disgraceful” after he was charged £168 for four failed direct debit payments by his bank.
7 Mar 2014 09:25
Holders Enniskillen Town Utd will have to overcome Junior Cup semi-finalists Lisnarick if they are to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup.
6 Mar 2014 21:20 • Rodney Edwards
Firefighters are dealing with a blaze in Donagh tonight (Thursday).
6 Mar 2014 21:00 • Julie Kenwell
DIRECTOR of this year’s Enniskillen Drama Festival says he fears for the future of the event on the eve of its opening night.
6 Mar 2014 19:00 • Rodney Edwards
Spake: “There must be a funeral... there are cones out.”
6 Mar 2014 19:00 • Julie Kenwell
MENTION the term domestic abuse and often the stereotype that comes to mind is a struggle between a male and female in their home.
6 Mar 2014 18:00 • Editorial Department
An armed robber been jailed for three-and-a-half years for holding up the Halifax Bank in Enniskillen using a machete.
6 Mar 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards
DUP Councillor Bert Johnston cried “I paid the price” during a lively Council debate on Monday night after a Sinn Fein councillor claimed he had been involved in a fracas many years a go in which “somebody got a kick in the ass.”
6 Mar 2014 16:00 • Editorial Department
FERMANAGH District Council has rejected a proposal by one of its councillors who suggested that it helps Erne Rovers acquire a football pitch.
6 Mar 2014 15:30 • Rodney Edwards
AT least three people in Fermanagh regarded as ‘on-the-run’ have received a so-called secret letter from the Northern Ireland Office, it has been claimed.
6 Mar 2014 15:30 • Editorial Department
The on-the-runs (OTR) issue ought to have been relatively straightforward.