Derry’s business leaders have hailed the fleadh as “wonderful” tourism boost for the city.
In congratulating, the organisers of the 2013 Fleadh Cheoil na h’Eireann as “a brilliant and enormously successful event”, the local Chamber of Commerce said the event helped showcase Derry as a “beacon of progress”.
Chamber President Philip Gilliland said: “This has been a wonderful week for the Fleadh, for Derry and for our city’s sense of renewed identity.
“It has given Derry the most wonderful opportunity to springboard itself as a significant tourism destination for the whole of Ireland, as well as for Great Britain and internationally. The fleadh has also provided a welcome boost to business in the city, especially in the hospitality industry - which has struggled in recent years.” Hotels and B and Bs in Derry and the surrounding areas were packed to the rafters for the event, with some residents even giving up their homes to help meet the demand and cater for visitors. Mr Gilliland paid tribute to the organisers for hosting such a “fabulous event”, adding that their were hopes among the business community that the fleadh will make a comeback in 2016.
He added: “Derry has shown itself as a beacon of progress in recent months. This has been built on a willingness and commitment by communities to a shared society. This has to be fundamental to our city’s renewed identity. We now look forward to one of the next high spots of City of Culture year and one in which the Chamber of Commerce is centrally involved - Culture Tech, from the 9th to 15th September. We are confident this event will also be a great success and will reflect enormous credit on our city.