Derry launches Irish City of Culture bid

Published Wednesday, 27 November 2013
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Londonderry looks set to launch an audacious bid to become the Irish City of Culture.

The proposal, which comes as Derry's UK City of Culture year draws to a close, has been raised by Sinn Féin councillors and is being backed by the main unionist parties and the SDLP.

The Guildhall representatives, following the events of this year, have seen firsthand just how culture can pay its way.

An influx of tourists has boosted the city's coffers even during one of the toughest recessions in living memory.

However, for the proposal to gain any traction, it will mean persuading Dublin-based organisers to allow the event to cross the border into Northern Ireland as the Irish government has no plans to run its City of Culture competition on an all-island basis.

Sinn Féin councillor Barney O'Hagan told UTV: "We believe that we are a cultural capital already.

"We believe Derry is a good news story whether you're from the north of Ireland, whether you're from the south of Ireland, whether you're from the east of Ireland or whether you're from the west of Ireland.

"There's a very positive message coming from this city and I think anybody would want to be a part of that."

DUP representative Alderman Maurice Devenney added: "We supported the motion coming forward with an amendment, and that amendment was very, very clearly that this would not be politicised and would include all the communities here in Londonderry."

The next move, according to Sinn Féin, is to get political parties together with interested stakeholders in this city to convince those in Dublin to allow them to enter the competition to compete against other cities bidding to host the event in five years' time.

© UTV News
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26 Comments
James in Newtownabbey wrote (131 days ago):
For goodness sake, would everyone wise up. Londonderry had a great year as this country's first city of culture. It brought in a lot of very much needed money and put Londonderry back on the map as an exciting place to be. Whether you agree or disagree if Londonderry is in (Ireland,Eire) or the United Kingdom, who cares. If it brings more money, then i'm all for it. Because at the end of the day, its all about bringing peoples living standards up. People of Londonderry and Derry City Council, i'm behind you.
John in An Creagan, Doire wrote (140 days ago):
@ Susan in Belfast & Sham69 in Ballysillin. Nationalists acceptance that the North is part of the UK is our upholding of the Belfast agreement. However it does not mean we have forsaken our Irish identity. Fortunately we live on an island that geographically is internationally recognized as Ireland. That by the way is the reason why the Irish government refers to itself as "The State" to differentiate itself from the geographical island of Ireland & the country of Ireland.(the Supreme court of Ireland ruled that Ireland is the name of the country not ROI). Just like the multi nationed continent of Africa all people can call themselves African. So hopefully that will explain why Derry can be the UK & Irish city of culture. We had a great year as UK city of cutture & we'll have a great year as Ireland's city of culture. Cead mile failte go Doire
John in England wrote (140 days ago):
Seamus city of culture is more for regional cities. Dublin is a world city of culture. It hosted European city of culture 20 years ago.
Paul in Derry. Ireland wrote (140 days ago):
Irish in Ireland Susan. My passport says so. We have lots of other Nationalities living with us. All welcome. Ireland forever. Goodluck Derry with your bid :)
Mike in Dublin wrote (140 days ago):
Don't be stupid Susan. The north of Ireland is not a country a mere region. Your last comment is ridiculous. Silly!!! Politics aside with all the "UK" (not so united).... Derry is in Ireland my dear. A true Irish city. Go ask the people that live in the city. Irish in Derry, Always was always will be. Im all for Derry becoming Irish city of culture and Belfast. Have a nice christmas....
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