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Liberties Festival to expand following awards victory

The Liberties Festival looks set to expand its operations this year following a celebrated win at the Community and Council Awards.

Director Ger O’Donnell and his ambitious team of volunteers scooped up the award for Best Local Festival/Event of the Year at the awards which took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry last week.

Speaking to The Liberty,  O’Donnell described the feelings on the team when they found out the good news.

Ashville Media. LAMA Community and Council Awards 2106, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin. January 2016. Pictures - Paul Sherwood

 Ashville Media. LAMA Community and Council Awards 2106, held at the Crowne Plaza      Hotel, Santry, Dublin. January 2016. Pictures – Paul Sherwood

We were absolutely shocked. I remember Miriam O’Callaghan, the MC, kindly asked that only two reps from each organisation collect their award, however as soon as our name was called all 12 of us bombarded the stage. The Liberties Festival volunteer team has become a little family, they put everything they can into the festival, it’s just a pity we couldn’t have brought more of them on the night,” O’Donnell said.

The festival is praised for its wide variety of events for all ages, most which are free of charge to attend including children’s workshops, LGBT events, photography exhibitions, theatrical performances and the Gardaí vs Street Traders football match. O’Donnell explained how he hopes to continue this trend for this year’s festival.

“Despite the economic downturn the festival has kept to its ethos of ensuring most events are free, with an average of 87% being free in 2015.  If you took part in the festival in 2015, you’d have been amazed at what we had to produce on a shoestring budget. We are hoping that by winning the award , we will not only increase our numbers for the upcoming festival but encourage local and national businesses to fund a growing, now nationally recognised festival.”

When asked about what we could hope to see at this year’s festival, O’Donnell wasn’t quick to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

“Let me just say, expect the unexpected. This year  will be bigger, brighter and bolder than any of the previous years. This is the earliest we’ve started planning for the festival and we have an excellent dedicated team of volunteers who are striving to make this the best festival to date.”

By Conor Shields

 

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