Thursday, March 30, 2023

A NEW international horse show will take place near Rathvilly this year. The Raheendaw Show was something of a mystery when it popped up as one of the beneficiaries of the council’s 2023 Festival and Event Fund at its March meeting.

Cllr John Pender queried what the event entailed and wondered about the €4,000 allocation. He contrasted that amount with the Tullow Show, one of the most popular annual events in the county, which received €2,300.

Carlow County Council’s head of enterprise Kieran Comerford said the new event was an international horse show located near Rathvilly. In regard to the funding allocation, Mr Comerford said the applicant provided income and expenditure projections around the event and the grants were based on the reliance on funding. He pointed out that Tullow Show received funding directly from the Department of Agriculture and it balanced out.

Cllr Arthur McDonald believed a wider range of groups and events should be supported in the scheme.

“It seems to me the same groups are getting it year-in, year-out,” he said. “Maybe other groups are not applying for it, or it’s their own fault, but we have to look at widening it.”

Cllr McDonald also wondered whether only multi-day festivals were allocated funding.

There was a suggestion by cllr Michael Doran that the scheme needed to be better advertised, as some groups had not been aware of it.

In response, Mr Comerford said the event was promoted by press release, while previous applicants over the last two years were notified.

Mr Comerford said single-day events were supported, but he noted it was increasingly difficult for groups to organise festivals due to insurance and management costs. Mr Comerford said he would prefer to see fewer events that were run properly rather than “spreading things too thinly”.

Cllr John Cassin asked if there was anything the council could do to assist groups in getting insurance. Mr Comerford said the council had encouraged groups to become affiliated with national bodies so they could avail of the best rate.

“We have also worked with seven bodies to prepare health and safety statements in order to get insurance,” he added.

The Festival and Event Fund allocation for 2023 is €149,500, which includes co-funding from Fáilte Ireland. The funding covers festivals between May and October, alongside a series of Carlow County Council partnership events.


Columban Way Annual Festival June 2023                            €1,200

Raheendaw Show June 2023                                                 €4,000

Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas June 2023           €7,000

Follow me up to Carlow Set Dancing Weekend                      €1,000

Town of Books Festival Graiguenamanagh/Tinnahinch          €1,500

Carlow Fringe Arts Festival Aug 2023                                     €3,000

Tullow Agricultural Show Aug 2023                                         €2,300

Carlow Pride Festival June 2023                                             €5,000

Borris Traditional Music Festival Sept 2023                            €3,000

Lightfest 2023                                                                          €45,000

Pan Celtic International Festival                                              €20,000

Carlow Garden Festival                                                           €10,000

Summer Walking Festival                                                        €5,000

Autumn Walking Festival                                                         €5,000

Carlow Golf Festival                                                                €2,000

Tour Guide for Old Leighlin                                                     €3,000

Samhain Festival, Visual (Commissioned Events)                  €12,000

Carlow Exchange (Commissioned Events)                             €18,000


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