One of the biggest events in the GAA calendar is to return to Derry next year as part of the City of Culture celebrations.
Féile Peile na nÓg, a four-day all-Ireland football championship for Under-14s, will bring in tens of thousands of visitors to the city and county from all over the island and beyond.
From a tourism perspective, the Feile is expected to generate more than 10,000 overnight stays in the region and will accrue more than £2 million for the local economy.
The Feile was first staged in the city in 2010 when it was acclaimed as “one of the most successful showcasings” of the event. The decision by the National Feile Committee to allow Derry to host it for a second time in three years is regarded as a unique honour.
More than 30,000 players and supporters from the 32 counties of Ireland, Britain, Europe and USA visited Derry for the 2010 Féile to cheer on 160 teams in one of the island’s largest youth sporting events.
A crowd of 15,000 people took part in, or watched, the opening parade of players, and mentors sporting their club colours and banners. Chairman of Derry GAA Events Committee 2013, Patsy Mullan, said he and fellow Gaels from Derry, were delighted to host the Feile once again. “It is a huge celebration of the contribution of our youth and is a festival we hope everyone will join in,” he explained. “Féile Dhoire 2010 was one of the most successful GAA events ever held within our county and there is great anticipation in hosting the event for a second time in 2013.
“The Féile is just one of a number of high profile events that we will be bringing to the city and the wider county, celebrating the wealth of the Gaelic culture within the GAA. And we will be announcing our full programme for 2013 at a special event to be held in the city next month.”
City of Culture Chief Executive, Shona McCarthy, said it was “tremendous” to have secured such a prestigious international youth event for 2013.
“It’s great to hear that the Féile will be taking place in Derry in 2013,” she said.
“It’s a fantastic event that brings young people together and engages communities.”
Foyle MLA Martina Anderson said: “This development, in the same week as Comhaltas Ceoltoíri Éireann in Derry ratified a bid for the all-Ireland Fleadh, can only have positive outcomes for the promotion of the full spectrum of Irish cultural offerings, of Derry and Donegal as a tourism destination and a welcome boost to the local economy.”