TomCat has been running for three years. The festival is a collaboration from businesses based in the Thomas St and Catherine St area of the city. Led by Deirdre Martin, Ken Coleman, Neville Gawley and Kevin Kiely Jnr, this year’s event brought a real sense of joy, festivity and friendliness to our city centre.
From hip hop to jazz; classical to dance, the streets were filled with upbeat sounds. Visitors to our city were greeted with oversized deck chairs, giant benches, huge inflatable snakes emerging from enormous wooden containers. There was a piano on the street.
As the third city in Ireland, Limerick has struggled over the years to generate home grown festivals to match other cities in Ireland. Last month I wrote in this column celebrating the fact the Riverfest 2016 finally showed the potential to develop into the future.
TomCat is an example of a festival that has grown into something that now should be noticed by the powers that be. With little or no public support, they have tapped into the energy of modern day Limerick. TomCat is as far from vanilla as you get. It is quirky, fresh, youthful, energetic and hip- all words currently being used by certain parties to sell our city these days.