Brolly ‘still confident’ for Derry’s All-Ireland’s bid

Dungiven All Ireland Fleadh winner, Anne Brolly remains “confident” Derry will host the prestigious event in 2013 despite news the Ulster Council said it had security fears about bringing the Fleadh to the city.

The Ulster Council said it was with “deep regret and long consideration” that it had turned down the bid.

It had been hoped the Ulster Council would have ratified moves to bring the Fleadh - which could have brought around 25,000 people to the city - to Derry.Two bombs exploded in the city last Thursday.

An appeal will be lodged this morning against the decision of the Ulster Council of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann not to back Derry’s bid to host the All-Ireland fleadh in 2013.

The decision, which was made at a meeting in Omagh on Sunday, sparked anger in the city yesterday. The Ulster Council said the bid was turned down because of fears around security and came just days after two bombs exploded in the city on Thursday night.

This came despite fact that senior members of Comhaltas received assurances on security from Derry’s police chief, chief inspector Chris Yates, and city centre manager, Jim Roddy.

A previous meeting of the Ulster Council voted unanimously in support of Derry’s bid.

Mrs, Brolly, a Sinn Fein councillor in Limavady, said: “I still have no doubt the All Ireland Fleadh will come to Derry in 2013.

“I think, for a start, there is a question mark over the validity of the vote by the Ulster Council.

“Also, I think it’s important to remember there is too much goodwill out there for the Fleadh not to come to Derry.

“There is too much momentum now to stop it coming to Derry. I don’t think we can stop it and I’m confident because of this overwhelming momentum from the root and branch members in Ireland and further afield.”

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson said: “The only way the All-Ireland Fleadh can come to Derry is by working closely with the various tiers of Comhaltas structures and ultimately the Ard Chomhaile of the CCE will decide on the location of the Fleadh.”