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230,000 salute the €30m giant granny

The Giant Grandmother which captivated the hearts of more than 230,000 people at the three-day Limerick City of Culture festival has bid a fond farewell to Shannonside.

The 25ft puppet, which weighed a tonne, was supposed to leave the city by sailing down the River Shannon; however this was scuppered by tides and technical issues.

Instead, thousands of spectators watched her take a final trip through the streets (right).

The street extravaganza by French theatre company Royal de Luxe was the highlight of Limerick's year as City of Culture and cost €1m to produce. But it was worth about €30m to the local economy.

The 230,000 turnout is the highest the city has ever witnessed. Mike Fitzpatrick, director of Limerick City of Culture, said: "It exceeded all expectations. The granny has captured the hearts of not only those who visited the city but also people overseas with photographs, videos and images being shared throughout the world, putting Limerick firmly on the map," he added.

During her odyssey around Limerick, the granny walked 19km, with 27 'Lilliputians' tasked with moving her. Sixty people from Royal de Luxe were involved in the performances supported by 120 volunteers.

Irish Independent