It is with regret that celebrations scheduled for New Year’s Eve in Limerick centred around King John’s Castle have to be postponed due to a threat of flooding.
Met Éireann has issued a YELLOW weather warning due to Storm Dylan with wind gusts up to 110 km per hour forecast until New Year’s Eve morning.
High tides are predicted on Sunday morning at 4.29am and Sunday evening at 4.55pm.
River levels of 6.66m and 6.7m are expected with a predicted surge of 620mm. Low pressure and strong south west winds may increase the surge right up the River Shannon towards Limerick, similar to what happened during Storms Ophelia and Storm Brian.
Freshwater levels can be expected to increase due to the high levels of rain already fallen and more rain expected over the next few days as well as thaw from marsh lands and high ground along the River Shannon.
As a result Limerick City and County Council, acting on health and safety advice, has instructed that flood barriers be erected immediately along Clancy Strand, O’Callaghan Strand and the boardwalks and will remain in place for New Year’s Eve.
Clancy Strand is the event site for the large scale projection mapping onto King John's Castle and unfortunately due to the risk of flooding this area is not available for use by the event management company.
Caroline Curley, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Service, Regional Services with Limerick City and County Council explained that the equipment and generator for the projection mapping would have to be erected tomorrow, Saturday, and coupled with the flood threat it has been decided to cancel the illuminations and fireworks.
She explained: “It is with great regret that this decision has been taken, but in the interests of information from the event’s safety officer, the impact of the weather on the installation and rigging of the event and the safety of the tens of thousands of people expected to come out for the New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, it was decided to postpone the entire event. This decision was not taken lightly, but the decision was made this evening (Friday 29 Dec 2017) to allow people to make alternative arrangements.”
She added; “However, the extravaganza will still take place at a later date, the event will now happen as part of Limerick’s St Patrick’s Festival 2018.”
Plans had been devised to allow the city’s Medieval Quarter to come alive with specially commissioned dramatic illuminations to be projected on to the walls of the historic King John’s Castle followed by a spectacular fireworks display.
The New Year’s Eve Extravaganza which will now take place as part of the 2018 Limerick St Patrick’s Festival is a collaborative event between Limerick City and County Council, Shannon Heritage and Limerick School of Art & Design LIT. It is being managed by Grooveyard Event Management Company.
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Viewing points at Clancy's Strand & Sarsfield Bridge