02/08/2013 – Deenihan opens Scarriff Harbour Festival 2013
Friday 2nd August 2013: Jimmy Deenihan T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will be at the Waterways Ireland Marina in Scarriff, Co Clare at 5.30 pm to open the Scarriff Harbour Festival 2013.
The Festival began in 2003 when a local group first mooted the idea in discussions with Waterways Ireland. The festival concept centred on the promotion of the commercial and tourist potential of Lough Derg, the inland waterways and how links might be developed with Northern Ireland. The Festival has now grown immensely into an open-air, street-based four day event with the aim of highlighting the attractions and amenities of Lough Derg, the inland waterways, Scarriff Harbour, Scarriff town and the east Clare countryside, and promoting local, community-based arts, crafts and music (ranging from tradition to jazz) and cross border cultural exchanges with Northern Ireland.
Speaking in advance of the opening, Minister Deenihan said: “I know that it takes a lot of community effort and hard work to host a festival of this nature and it is important to acknowledge those who have supported you over the years. This year you have increased the events and gone a step further building on the success of previous years and including new elements to the festival. Last year it was the the innovative ‘game of three halves’ and this year Scariff Harbour Festival has partnered with Clare Youth Service and Peace Players International (NI) in organising a North/South exchange of young people. I’m sure the shared journey on our waterways will provide some great insights into our shared heritage, and support important peace and reconciliation.”
Waterways Ireland Western Regional Office at Scariff Harbour was opened in 2006. Waterways Ireland is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British Irish Agreement in 1999. Waterways Ireland has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways principally for recreational purposes. The waterways under the remit of the body are the Barrow Navigation, the Erne System, the Grand Canal, the Lower Bann, the Royal Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the Shannon Navigation. The headquarters for Waterways Ireland is in Enniskillen, and regional offices are located in Carrick-on-Shannon, Dublin and Scarriff.