McGrath Welcomes St Patrick’s Day Funding Move

Colin McGrath MLA has welcomed the re-instatement of St Patrick’s Day funding

The SDLP’s Colin McGrath MLA has welcomed confirmation from the Department for Communities that funding has been re-instated for St Patrick’s Day festivities.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath has welcomed the DfC funding re-instatement for the St Patrick’s Day festivities.

Commenting, the South Down MLA has said: “Last week I raised my disappointment at the cut of £75,000 for St Patrick’s Day festivities by the Good Relations Fund in the Executive Office.

“I highlighted the need for funding to be re-instated to give our town Downpatrick in particular a boost following the awful floods late last year.  I subsequently wrote to the Department for Communities about this.

“And today I am delighted to have received confirmation from the Department, that funding of £178,500 has been allocated to Newry Mourne and Down to implement an Animating and Marketing Scheme to deliver events across Newry and Downpatrick.  

“£74,500 of this funding has been specifically directed towards the St Patrick’s Day parades in Downpatrick and Newry to enable Council to deliver bigger and better activities than initially planned.

“I have no doubt our community groups will be ready to put on a tremendous show for locals and those visiting the area.

“And efforts must now go into ensuring that future money for such events is ring fenced and not the crisis point we have witnessed of late where funding is cut and then put in place again.

“I will continue to advocate for this and to put pressure on Ministers to see this delivered.

“As we celebrate our local community, our heritage of St Patrick and all that makes Downpatrick the tremendous place it is, I look forward to attending our St Patrick’s Day festivities this year once again.”