Contestants in the 2018 Queen of the Erkina Festival
Insurance, regulations and workload have caused an active Laois community group in Rathdowey to call time on organising parades, festivals other events.
The Rathdowney Events Committee consists of a small group of volunteers who meet at the beginning of each year to plan events for the year ahead. However, after three years of organising local activities that brought the community together, the committee has decided to disband.
The committee issued a public statement explaining why it has had to cease operations.
"It has unfortunately come to a point where the workload in putting events together exceeds the number of volunteers available to organise such events.
"Taking this into consideration along with contributory factors such as regulatory restrictions and insurance costs, we have made a decision not to continue with running events going forward and as a result have disbanded our committee," said the statement.
The group say that over the past three years they have had many success stories including the St Patrick's Day Parade, the Lord Mayor elections, Flare in the Square and the Queen of the Erkina competition. The committee hopes others will step into the breach.
"It would be our hope that perhaps another group, club, business or individual would like to continue with the tradition of running such events or similar events in our town.
"We are more than happy to offer any advice or pass on our experience in running such events should anyone be interested in continuing with same. We have accumulated a number of items such as bollards, posters, bunting etc over the years and are willing to pass these on if anyone should require them.
"We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of you who offered your services to us free of charge, sponsored our events or donated prizes over the past three years," said the statement.
The committee concluded by extending a particular word of thanks to all who turned out in great numbers regardless of the weather to support the many events.
"It was greatly appreciated and the local community benefited in many ways from your support," said the committee.