Derry will host the All Ireland Fleadh in 2013, it’s been announced, following a meeting of the central executive of Comhaltas in Dublin on Saturday morning.
It will be the first time in its 60 year history that the Fleadh has travelled north of the border and the event is expected to generate £40million for the local economy as well as bringing over a quarter of a million visitors to the city.
A number of controversies had surrounded the city’s efforts to host the massive event. Initially the Derry Board of a Comhaltas failed to agree on whether to support the bid after some members expressed a problem with the Fleadh being connected to the UK City of Culture.
When that hurdle was overcome two bomb explosions in the city last week prompted the Ulster Council to withdraw their support for the event being held here, however a massive public backlash forced a sensational u-turn.
The final obstacle was overcome yesterday when Derry beat Sligo and Ennis to secure the Fleadh which will see the banks of the Foyle play host to the biggest celebration of traditional Irish culture, dance and music in the world in 2013.
See tomorrow’s Sunday Journal for all the reaction