Debate on St Patrick’s Day carnival coverage

Derry City Council should meet with all major broadcasters ahead of next year’s St Patrick’s Day carnival to make sure the event gets as much coverage as possible, a local councillor has said.

Sinn Féin colr. Mickey Cooper was speaking ahead of a debate at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council later today on a motion he has tabled calling for more promotion of the event.

Colr. Cooper is also calling for key landmarks in Derry to be appropriately decorated for the national holiday.

“Over the past number of years the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival in Derry has grown into one of the key cultural calendar events for this city.

We felt that as we approach City of Culture year that there was a need to plan now to maximize the full potential of the Spring Carnival and put Derry on the map as the place to be for St Patrick’s Day next year and in the years after,” he said.

Colr. Cooper called for meetings to be held with broadcasters to ensure maximum coverage.

“There is often the complaint that St Patrick’s Day is nearly a non-event in media terms and only gets a fleeting mention in the broadcast media. Our motion is calling on Derry City Council to take the necessary steps to meet with the major broadcasting organisations to ensure that the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival gets the maximum possible coverage and to ensure that it is given parity with other annual events, and that measures are taken to ensure that the city centre and key landmarks are appropriately decorated as part of the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival,” he said.

He also cited the example of the impact the MTV music awards and its coverage brought to Belfast. “The positive spin off from this resulted in a follow up major outdoor pop concert and Belfast Council had its most successful Christmas programme of events in years,” he said.