Donegal County Council has confirmed an estimated 10,000 people were in Greencastle village for the Clipper event last week, with a further 5000 in the surrounding areas.
Speaking to the ‘Journal,’ a spokesperson for the Council said they received feedback from Clipper and the RAF who told them they were “overwhelmed” with the crowds who attended the event and they “warm welcome” they received in Greencastle and the county as a whole.
While Donegal County Council say they are “delighted” with the success of the event, there has been some controversy in recent days over comments made by Seán Ó Dubhláin, Ard Chomhairle, Sinn Féin Poblachtach, who said the people of Greencastle had been witness to a display of red, white and blue smoke searing across the sky.
He said this represented the “colours of occupation,” was further proof of a wider agenda and widely condemned it.
The organisation of the event was a collaboration with between Donegal County Council and the Local Regatta Committee in Greencastle.
The Council, who also worked alongside Derry City and Limavady Council’s on the event, said they were “delighted to be in a position to work with local communities to promote events likes this.”
The spokesperson also acknowledged the delays and traffic problems leading to the event.
They said: “In relation to traffic on the day, there was an official road closure in place for the village, diversions were signed and managed by Gardai who were at the event to assist with Traffic Management. Visitors to the event were directed to locations where appropriate parking was available and disabled drivers were accommodated in the village itself. We do acknowledge that there were delays on the main Derry to Greencastle Road, both before and after the event. This was due to the volume of traffic trying to get to and from Greencastle.”
They added: “The event itself was a great success and a great opportunity to showcase Greencastle and Inishowen as an excellent visitor location. It also provided an economic boost to the area with many visitors using local restaurants, pubs and shops.”