Derry & Strabane councillors have praised organisers of the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup for delivering a successful major tournament in the city.
Sinn Fein Councillor Elisha McCallion led tributes as the Council prepared to break for recess last Thursday.
Speaking at the Full Council meeting, Colr. McCallion said: “This was a hugely successful tournament, in fact one of the biggest in Europe. It is a credit to those involved in running in it and a credit to everyone involved.”
Colr. McCallion praised the coaches and teams who worked so hard in advance of this year’s event, adding that as a mother of two of the young footballers who were taking part she knew first hand the dedication involved.
“The time these particular coaches commit to ensuring the team are prepared and indeed throughout the week should not go without notice,” she said.
Mayor of Derry & Strabane Alderman Hilary McClintock concurred with Colr. McCallion’s remarks.
UUP Councillor Derek Hussey said his own young son was involved last year and parents themselves should be praised.
“It is absolutely tremendous to see the commitment of all, each and every one involved,” he said.
SDLP Councillor Jim McKeever said that there had been 310 teams taking part and more than 1,000 matches staged over the course of this year’s competition.
“That takes some organisation- I can’t get my head around that- they’re a bit more organised than me,” he quipped, adding that his own foster child had scored a winning goal at one of the matches on Thursday morning.
Sinn Fein Councillor Maoliosa McHugh took the commentary off in a different direction to express his “heartiest regards” to the Tyrone team on becoming Ulster Champions, and said he looked forward to a reception in their honour when they were holding the Cup for the 14th time.
Independent Councillor Darren O’Reilly said it was great to see the newly opened pitches at Brooke Park being utilised.
He added that there was so many positive developments happening across Derry recently, local people could rightly be proud of the city.
More than 4,000 young players from across Ireland, Britain and further afield took part in the tournament last week with fixtures staged across the North West.
The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup tournament kicked off with a parade from Magee Campus through the town to Guildhall Square.
Such was the length of the parade that it took almost 35 minutes for all the participants to reach their destination.