The All-Ireland Fleadh in Derry in 2013 has been hailed as a resounding success.
The conclusion is contained in a report commissioned by Comhaltas Ceoltóiriί Éireann, the organisers of the annual event, which was launched in the city last night.
One of the baseline conclusions from the report - carried out by the Venture Network organisation - is that the 2013 event generated “substantial economic benefits” for Derry and the wider North West region.
It’s estimated that this could have amounted to as much as £42 million.
The report - the ‘Economic and Social Impact Study for the 2013 All Ireland Fleadh’ - was launched in Derry last night at the annual general meeting of Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.
One of the guest speakers at the event was Labhrás Ó Múrchú, Director General of Comhaltas.
Guests at the event were told that the 2013 Fleadh was “instrumental” in uniting the two main communities in Derry as activities were held on both sides of the river during the event.
“As this has never occurred before in the history of the city, it will play a major role in building confidence within the community,” the report adds.
It added: “The active engagement of the Protestant community that live in Derry, together with the participation of Protestant bands such as the Burntollet Sons of Ulster Flute Band and the hosting of “The Pride” during the event, will further develop community relations in the city.”
The 2013 All Ireland Fleadh in Derry was, of course, the first time the event was held in the North.
“This helped to enhance people’s access to and knowledge of cultural activities as many residents of the city had not experienced an All Ireland Fleadh event before,” adds the analysis.
“The hosting of the 2013 All Ireland Fleadh increased Derry’s capacity to manage major events.
“This knowledge will remain in the region and enable it to plan future cultural and artistic events in the city.”