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Turlough museum manager disappointed with festival closure

Museum manager disappointed with closure of successful festival

Edwin McGreal

The manager keeper of the National Museum of Country Life at Turlough Park, Castlebar has expressed his disappointment with the news that the largely successful Féile na Tuaithe at the Museum will not take place in 2012.
In an open letter, Mr Candon said the ‘sense of shock and disappointment was palpable’ among staff when they were informed of the news which he said would be a big loss to the local area and the wider western region.
With between 20,000 and 25,000 attending the Féile in recent years, Mr Candon said it was becoming a victim of its own success as costs to stage such a big ‘free’ event were getting higher and while he can appreciate the budgetary situation, he finds it ‘regrettable’ that one of the cuts the National Museum must make is to the Féile which has been an annual event on the second last weekend in May for the last seven years. 
The Féile was a weekend festival which highlighted the work of recent, rural generations but the decision will have economic implications as well as cultural ones, argues Mr Candon.
“While the primary purpose of Féile na Tuaithe has always been cultural, féile in its own way also contributed to the economic wellbeing of the area. The museum purchased goods and services to the value of tens of thousands of euro in the local area and the stallholders who participated also made money – and, even if some did not make a lot on the day, it was an effective marketing opportunity for them as well,” he said.
He concluded with the hope that Féile na Tuaithe would return in the near future in better economic times.