Dáil Éireann - Volume 462 - 27 February, 1996
Written Answers. - Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
54. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade the total amount of State funding being made available to the organisers of the Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade; whether similar funding will be made available in the future; the main changes, if any, in the parade this year over previous years; the extra tourist numbers it is expected to attract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4214/96]
Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. E. Kenny) Enda Kenny
 Minister for Tourism and Trade (Mr. E. Kenny): Last year I appointed a steering committee under the chairmanship of Mr. Michael Colgan with the mandate to transform the St. Patrick's Day parade into a major festival of international standing. This year is the start of a gradual process and phased development up to the year 2000. A total of £220,000 has been made available through my Department's Vote for 1995 and 1996 as seed capital to generate a new, more modern format for the parade. It is expected that a successful event in 1996 will open up new prospects and opportunities for commercial sponsorship in future years.
I understand that the steering committee has devised a new route for the parade which will take in many of Dublin's most important and historic buildings and streets. There are plans for increased participation by street theatre groups and performers and to replace the stop-start format of previous years with a non-stop exciting parade.
I expect that, from this year on, St. Patrick's Day in Dublin will be seen as a major international festival attracting an increasing level of overseas visitors in the off peak season.
Dáil Éireann 462 Written Answers. Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade.