Derry has been chosen to host the Fleadh 2013, one of the largest traditional festivals in Ireland. The town was chosen over candidates such as Sligo and Ennis, making this year the first time the Fleadh moves North of the border.
It was feared earlier in the week that the possibility of violence by dissident republicans would see the organisers opt for a town in the Republic. The final decision was announced in Dublin today – Derry will host the Fleadh when it will be 2013 UK City of Culture.
First minister Peter Robinson spoke of the “vote of confidence” in Derry:
“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 also hailed the decision: “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.”
Stormont Junior Minister Martina Anderson said the festival could bring 300,000 visitors to the city, and generate 40 million Euro.
It is the first time in the 60-year history of the event that the All-Ireland Fleadh will be held in Northern Ireland. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2012 will take place in Carlow.