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Tourists flock to the capital for weekend full of craic agus ceol

Tourists flock to the capital for weekend full of craic agus ceol

The streets echoed to the sound of Irish music but the crowd was overwhelmingly foreign.

An estimated 12,000 tourists packed out pubs and concert venues in Dublin over the weekend for the Temple Bar Trad Fest.

Organisers of the annual event calculate that the weekend of Irish traditional music, dance and storytelling brings in more than €6m for the venues and pubs between Dame Street and the River Liffey.

“It’s what kicks the year off really, so it really launches Temple Bar and the city on an international stage,” organiser Martin Harte said.

“We would have launched the promotion of this festival last year in June in Switzerland and then Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Berlin. We travelled to all of those countries promoting the festival so it’s hugely important to Temple Bar.”

Musicians Paddy Casey and Declan O’Rourke, as well as the actor Stephen Rea, performed at a gala event last night, which closed the festival.

The fundraising concert in City Hall was to raise money to care for the troubadour musician and traditional composer Pecker Dunne, who is now in his late 70s.

Concert organiser Mannix Flynn paid tribute to Mr Dunne as one of the last in a long line of travelling musicians who held the Irish musical tradition intact for the national culture.

“This is going to be the first of many concets in coming years to honour artists in the field who are above ground, we are very inclined in this country at honouring people who are below the ground,” Mr Flynn said.

According to Mr Harte, the festival draws its largest numbers of visitors from the UK and France.  But it appeared that the Mediterranean countries provided most of the crowd at the festival’s open air stage on Parliament Street yesterday, even if those present were forced to watch from beneath umbrellas.

Foilsithe ar - 30 Eanáir 2012

Irish Independent - Kevin Keane

Bí ar an eolas - Cláraigh dár ríomhirisí

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