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Crowds on the quay bring Maritime Festival to life

Jean Watson, her children, Mary-Ann and James and Terry Gallagher. DER2614MC081

Jean Watson, her children, Mary-Ann and James and Terry Gallagher. DER2614MC081

 

Grey skies and frequent downpours haven’t been enough to prevent thousands of people coming out for the maritime festivities along the quayside over the past few days.

People have gathering in their droves on a daily basis to sample the music, amusements, drinks and international cuisines on offer.

The River Foyle was fringed with sea vessels of all sorts from kayaks and the Clipper fleet to ornate historic cargo vessels and the Irish Navy’s massive LE Roisin, droves of people have ben dandering along the promenade.

Among the hits at the foodstalls were the exotic animal burgers, crepe, French breads and Spanish paella and churros stalls.

Among those at the quay were Maureen Doherty with her daughter Colleen and grandson Cian, from Glenowen.

Maureen said: “It’s amazing, I’ve been here every day and the atmosphere it just brilliant. It’s great to get out and about and meeting people.”

Colleen added: “It is great for the town. The amount of people is shocking.”

Teacher John Haran from Letterkenny said: “Derry is only coming out of itself and finding its feet. It’s brilliant.”

Jean Watson from Creggan said: “I think the wains enjoy the boats coming in. I would like to see more of this sort of thing.” Terry added: “It shows Derry off at its best.”

Kirsten McLaughlin who lives in her native Germany with her Derry-born husband had just arrived with son Patrick and their friend Ann-Marie Hild.

Kirsten said: “This is brilliant. I love how friendly everyone is when you come here.

“We are looking forward to this Red Arrows show.”

Patrick (21) added: “I have been here two times before and I like it, it’s special and an interesting place.”

His friend Anne Marie (24) said: “This is my first time here. I am excited.”

Moville native Derek Cavanagh and his daughter Siobhan (2), who live in New York, decided to come in for the day during a visit home. He said: “It’s great to see what is going on here.”

Eighteen-year-old Lauren Moore from Limavady Road was also impressed. She said: “You need big events like this, and it is great for people bringing children.”

Gerry and Sharon Breslin from Grangemore were similarly impressed. “There’s a real continental feel and a feel-good factor here,” Gerry said, adding: “The whole spectacle of the boats is great and the coffee is amazing as well.”

Sharon added: “It is absolutely amazing. It is great for the city, great for the people.”

And the festivities will continue through until Sunday, when the Red Arrows take to the skies over Lough Foyle.

 

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