One of the best-known singers in the north west has added her voice to calls to have the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil staged in Derry in 2013.
Anne Brolly, herself an All-Ireland winning performer, said she believes the city is the perfect place to stage the Fleadh Cheoil na h’Éireann.
She made the comments amid a a growing campaign to bring the festival of Irish music to the city in two years’ time as part of the City of Culture celebrations.
Mrs Brolly won the main competition in the English singing (women) competition in the 1972 All-Ireland fleadh, which was held in Listowel, Kerry.
She is one of at least nine performers from Derry who have won All-Ireland titles since the first fleadh in 1951.
“I think it would be brilliant to have the fleadh in Derry,” Mrs Brolly said.
“Derry is the friendliest city in Ireland and it has a great tradition of music and dance and it would be great for the city to stage the fleadh and I also think it would be great for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann.
“Derry is perfectly placed to stage such an event with its many hotels and excellent venues. It would be a great showcase, not only for the city, but for the excellent tradition of music and Irish culture that we have,” she added.
The former mayor of Limavady also insisted that the All-Ireland fleadh would have something to offer everyone in the north west, not just those involved in Irish music. “It is not exclusive; it is inclusive. One of the great things about the fleadh is that it transcends all class and political barriers,” she explained.
Mrs Brolly also said having the fleadh in Derry would bring extra visitors to the city. “Visitors flock to the fleadh and it would be fantastic if we have that influx of visitors coming to Derry,” she said.