Written Answers. - Millennium Celebrations.

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

30 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the work to date of the millennium festivals committee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15037/98]

Since the Millennium Festivals Company was set up earlier this year it has been working to orchestrate a unique millennium celebration from a tourism perspective by using festivals as its main theme.

The company, under the chairmanship of Mr. Derek Keogh, plans to steal a march on the rest of the world by starting Ireland's millennium party with St. Patrick's festival in March 1999 and continuing it countrywide, through the year, by enhancing and developing other selected festivals.

The company has already produced a logo for Ireland's millennium celebrations and this logo will be used widely by the tourism industry, festivals and events around the country and in international marketing campaigns.

The company also advertised in the national press earlier this year for festival organisers throughout the country to present their ideas for enhancing their own festivals to the company. At present the company is in the final stages of assessing a number of festival applications for support this year, preparatory to 1999, and this may be in the form of funding, marketing or operational assistance. An announcement of those festivals selected for support will be made in the near future.