'Oaky Dokes' is City of Culture mascot

Published Thursday, 31 May 2012
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'Oaky Dokes' has been unveiled as the official mascot for Londonderry's UK City of Culture year in 2013.

'Oaky Dokes' is City of Culture mascot
The Culture Minister with winner Domnall Starkey, and Shona McCarthy. (© DCAL)

The character - a red cartoon squirrel - was designed by a native of the city Domnall Starkey and the cheeky chappie beat over 100 entrants to win a competition organised by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said: "Oaky Dokes' name derives from Derry's title of the Oak Leaf county and also represents the city's red squirrel population.

"In March we launched a competition during DCAL Creativity month - this fun character will help promote events and become a recognisable face of City of Culture."

Around 140 events with a cross-community theme have been proposed for 2013.

Ms Ní Chuilín continued: "This is an exciting time for Derry and the north.

"My department is contributing over £12m to City of Culture 2013 as part of my continued commitment to Derry and the North West.

"The Cultural Programme developed by the Culture Company is also focused on maximising benefits for the local community, boosting skills and jobs, building communities and providing a lasting legacy, with particular efforts at the most excluded sectors of the city."

Already confirmed for the City of Culture celebrations is the prestigious Turner Prize art awards which will take place at Ebrington, marking the first time it has ever been held outside London

Derry will also be home to the All-Ireland Fleadh, which will bring Irish traditional music, language and culture to the city for 10 days in August 2013.

On Wednesday, the official programme of events launch took place in the city and was attended by numerous dignitaries including actor Stephen Rea and composer Phil Coulter.

© UTV News
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