THE Johnny Keenan International Banjo Festival which will be held in Tullamore in September is “a great opportunity for Tullamore to showcase the town, its facilities and the local talent,” claimed one of the festivals’ founders Kathy Casey.
Speaking at Thursday’s launch of the festival in the Bridge House Hotel Kathy said that while Longford had been a great home for the festival for ten years, the event had outgrown the town and this was now Tullamore’s opportunity to shine.
Tullamore was chosen as the new venue because of its accommodation options, central location, transport services and past successes including hosting Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann from 2007 to 2009. It has been estimated that the Banjo Festival brought up to €1m into Longford each year and it is hoped that the move to Tullamore will mean a bigger festival and in turn more revenue for the local economy, possibly up to €2.5million.
The relocation of the festival to Tullamore has been welcomed with open arms by the local business community and the Town Council.
Cathaoirleach Cllr Sinead Dooley complimented the organising committee and added she was certain they would “work their socks off for the good of the town.”
See this week’s Offaly Express for a full report on the launch and extensive photographic coverage.