The organisers of an Irish festival celebrating the life and times of Che Guevara have defended their forthcoming event in County Clare.

Guevara’s eldest daughter Almeida is to be the guest of honour at the September festival in the seaside resort of Kilkee.

Critics of the proposed statue to Guevara in Galway city have also hit out at the festival which, they claim, will deter American investment in Ireland and hit the tourist trade.

But the Clare organisers have hit back at criticism and insist they will go ahead with their event in September, a year after the first Che Guevara festival celebrating his brief stay in the town in 1961.

Spokesman Tom Byrne said: “Ms Guevara is aware of the controversy in Galway but those who are critical of the plans there are completely misguided in their view that the statue may deter US investment here.

“The statue of Oliver Cromwell outside the Houses of Parliament in London doesn’t put me off going to London, a city that I love.

“The Che Guevara image created by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick has become as famous as the Coca Cola logo and is recognised as one of enduring images of the 20th Century.

“We are proud to say that this image was the product of that fateful meeting between Guevara and Mr Fitzpatrick in Kilkee.”

According to the Irish Independent, Guevara’s daughter plans to meet Irish relations – his family were descended from the Lynch clan in the West – and will speak on her Celtic roots.

“Ms Guevara will meet her Irish relations and she will talk on the fact that the revolutionary blood that coursed in Guevara’s veins was attributed by Che’s own father to his Irish ancestry and his admiration of the leaders of 1916,” added Byrne.