Critical Fleadh Vote Tomorrow

A high profile delegation from Derry will travel to Dublin today to make a final appeal to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann to support the city’s bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2013.

The delegation, which includes the city’s civic and political leaders, will meet with Comhaltas director general, Labhrás O Murchú, and members of the Comhaltas Ard Chomhairle, ahead of a meeting on Saturday to decide where next year’s fleadh will be held.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is expected to lead the delegation and it has emerged that his influence was key to the decision by the Ulster Council of Comhaltas to do a dramatic u-turn this week and reverse their decision not to back Derry’s bid.

It is understood the Ulster Council contacted Mr McGuinness on Tuesday and asked for a letter of assurance that Derry is a safe venue to host the fleadh. The letter is understood to have been received ahead of the Ulster Council where the decision was reversed.

The final decision is expected to be announced tomorrow.