Invited guests from local arts, government, business, community and sporting organizations were invited to come along and hear how the entire region could benefit from a successful bid for the prestigious event. Speakers at the event included Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness; Mayor of Derry Colum Eastwood; Martin Bradley, Chairperson of the City of Culture Board and Eibhlin Ní Dhochartaigh from Comhaltas Dhoire (the organization spearheading the bid).
Eibhín Ní Dhochartaigh welcomed the launch of the campaign and said “Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the largest music and dance festival in the island of Ireland, attracting over 250,000 visitors each year and would bring an estimated £30 million boost to the local economy if a successful bid was accepted. Securing Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann host status will act as a tremendous catalyst in further developing Derry as a cultural tourism destination for music fans across the globe.”
Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú, the Director-General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the organisation responsible for awarding the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, also attended the event with a number of Ard Chomhairle members, all of whom are keen to know about Derry’s intentions to host the largest Irish music festival in the world. Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú was invited on stage to address the audience and commented “I would personally love to see the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann come to Derry in 2013. Although the bid process has some time to run and overcome a number of hurdles along the way, having the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Derry in 2013 would be a marvellous statement to the island of Ireland and the world. I fully endorse your intentions and I wish you every success in your campaign.”
Speaking after the bid briefing, Martin Bradley Chairman of Culture Company 2013 said that Culture Company 2013 was 100% behind the bid to bring the Fleadh to the city. “The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is a showcase of cultural talent and music. It has international recognition and has the potential to bring over 250,000 visitors to the city. We are a great location for this type of musical event and our cultural track record, makes the city the perfect choice for this celebration”.
Derry faces tough competition for the event from a series of cities and towns in Ireland and a final decision is not expected until June 2012. Members of the public can register their support for the campaign to bring the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to Derry by visiting the campaign office in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Great James St, Derry or online at www.facebook.com/bringthefleadhtoderry.