Derry to host Fleadh 2013

Published Saturday, 28 January 2012
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Derry will host the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2013, bringing the traditional music festival to Northern Ireland for the first time.

Derry to host Fleadh 2013
Celebrations after it was revealed the 2013 Fleadh will be held in Derry. (© PA)

The organisation of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will coincide with Londonderry's stint as UK City of Culture next year.

The bid received the backing of First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Mr Robinson said it was a "vote of confidence in Londonderry".

"It is a proud and historic city with a rich heritage and the hosting of this event will be one of the highlights of the UK City of Culture celebrations.

Mr McGuinness said: "This is a great day for Derry and the north and I wish to thank all those who have played a part in securing this outcome.

There have been one or two hurdles along the way but that is behind us and now is the time for everyone to work together to ensure that this is be a Fleadh which will live long in the memory.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

The city saw off rival bids from Sligo and Ennis in the Irish Republic.

It was awarded the event at an Ard Chomhairle meeting in Dublin on Saturday, where the decision was announced after a secret ballot.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson said it was a "historic decision" and a "great result for the city".

"There has been a lot of tremendous work done by many dedicated people to bring this successful bid and they deserve all the credit."

It follows a dramatic u-turn by the Ulster Council, which initially refused to back Derry's bid following ongoing attacks from dissident republicans.

Special thanks also goes to the timely intervention of Martin McGuinness and Peter Robinson in resolving any concerns that Comhaltas had concerning the Fleadh coming to Derry.

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson

The council reversed its controversial decision earlier this week, allowing Comhaltas Dhoire to be a contender.

On Monday, the PSNI said any security concerns in Northern Ireland should not prevent the Fleadh taking place in Derry next year.

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the decision to host the Fleadh is an opportunity for the city.

"Hopefully this distraction of a controversy will now disappear and allow the Culture Year organisers to proceed with events that people from all over Northern Ireland and further afield can enjoy," he said.

Of course measures will be put in place in the unlikely event that dissidents try to disrupt proceedings, but this is an opportunity for Londonderry to showcase itself as the first UK City of Culture.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan expressed his delight and congratulations following the announcement.

"This victory is particularly a great credit to the local branch of Comhaltas and it is very heartening that members of the wider Comhaltas family have recognised that Derry 2013 offers great opportunities to the city, the county, the north-west and, importantly, to Fleadh Ceoil na hÉireann itself.

"We are very happy that the Ard Chomhairle sensed that the rhythm of history would be Fleadh in Derry 2013 and we all look forward to making it a wonderful success by being great hosts for a great cultural experience," he added.

It is believed the 10-day event could attract 300,000 people to the North West and could generate up to £40m.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
27 Comments
Laury in Pacifica, California wrote (975 days ago):
would like to plan my vacation around the time of the Fleadh. Please tell me the 10 days in which it will be held ???
Great in NI wrote (1,033 days ago):
This is great news for Derry. It will bring so much Tourism, Money and good attention to Derry that it can only hope to move forward next year. And to all those people saying how bad a decision it is and that they wont attend. Great. If you don't like it, don't go. Simple as.
colin in londonderry wrote (1,034 days ago):
Thanks for letting us know mike. Dont hurry back
Mike in dublin wrote (1,034 days ago):
Comhaltas seem to have ignored the fact that two bombs exploded in Derry city centre last Saturday, I don't feel that my childrens safety would be assured in Derry and a result we won't be attending the Fleadh next Summer
brian in dublin wrote (1,034 days ago):
disgrace its is an irish event not a UK one terrible decision
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