The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

St Patrick’s Day celebration costs add up to €20,000 – St Julian’s mayor

Giulia Magri Tuesday, 19 March 2019, 10:30 Last update: about 6 months ago

This year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations cost the St Julian’s Local Council around €20,000, the locality’s Mayor Guido Dalli told The Malta Independent.

Such costs includes cleaning, the Park and Ride initiative, security in the surrounding areas of the area, police, transport and accessibility to toilets, he explained.

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He explained that stakeholders from the locality forked out a certain sum and he hopes that the Malta Tourism Authority will help in paying the difference.

As the crowds gathered in their thousands to celebrate a day of cheering and drinking in St Julian’s yesterday, the residents and the local council now face the aftermath of the massive street party.

On Monday morning, Deputy Mayor of St Julian’s said that the St Patrick’s Day activity should be moved elsewhere. When asked whether he agreed, Dalli said that it is not a decision which can be taken lightly.

“Ideally the event would not be held in St Julian’s and that would make residents happy. Apart from the fact that this is a spontaneous event in which the local council does not organise the event per se, this particular event contributes a lot of money to the local economy.”

He explained that apart from the stakeholders who benefit from the yearly celebrations, there are also a number of St Julian’s non-governmental organisations, who with whatever income they earn from the St Patrick’s event can then spend it on the local feast in summer.

“This way they hold a feast which locals and foreigners will enjoy, and which the Maltese economy will also benefit from.” He said that even if the local council did not provide permits, many would still organise parties and events in their facilities, and people would continue to party without there being any sense of safety.

“The local council cooperates by trying to help make the event, as well as residences in the area, safe; therefore we have the roads closed, ensure accessibility for ambulances and first aid areas, provide the necessary security and provide public toilets.” The local council had also provided a helpline specifically for residents who had any queries or complaints on the actual day.

Dalli said that the local council had received a number of complaints, especially regarding the volume of the music throughout the day. “This is something which we are hoping to control next year, as one bar is blasting out different music to another, and as the local council we are fully aware that this causes a huge disturbance for our residents and we are doing everything possible to control this.”

He said that cleaning operations began first thing the morning after in the square and in areas where residents complained about litter they found outside their doors. The council also hired the water bowser to wash away leftover waste. He added that the Local Council staff, Police and Transport Malta did an impeccable job.

Dalli said that whilst St. Patrick’s Day is marked in the locals calendars. “It is one of the only activities in Malta which is still spontaneous and not held by a local council. We only collaborate for the safety of the people and residents of St Julian’s.”

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