The Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan has said a planned strike at Aer Lingus would affect St Patrick's Day events in Ireland.
A strike at the airline has been scheduled to take place over the bank holiday weekend after negotiations between Siptu and the company and, later, the Dublin Airport Authority ended in deadlock last week.
However, Mr Deenihan said the centrepiece event in Dublin will attract a large crowd regardless of the whether the strike goes ahead. “Of course it would affect it but still I think there’ll be a large audience there,” he said. “I know a large number of people who are travelling to Dublin from different parts of the country because they are so impressed with the parade and the success it has been over the past number of years.”
He added: “There’s still plenty of opportunity obviously to call off the strike and look at a different approach so I hope it won’t happen, certainly it would affect it.”
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the St Patrick’s Festival ‘I Love My City [DUBLIN]’ programme where he said the organisers had “done a really remarkable job with the festival, making it something very special and making it a very good family day as well”.
The festival's creative director Susanna Lagan rejected recent criticism by Dublin City Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn, who described the celebrations as "tacky".
“We would hope now that the programme has launched that people can see that it is four days packed full of culture,” she said, adding, “We recognise that St Patrick’s Festival is an event that people associate with [ALCOHOL]. We work really closely with our stakeholders, an Garda Síochána and others to prevent that as much as we can.”
The festival starts on March 14th; a full programme of events (most of which are free) is available at www.stpatricksfestival.ie