Maiden City Festival to return this summer

The Maiden City Festival is set to return this summer after a two-year break thanks to funding from the Irish government.

The festival, which is organised by the Apprentice Boys of Derry, became a staple of the summer events calendar until 2006 when it was cancelled due to funding problems.

Billy Moore, of the Apprentice Boys, has confirmed the festival will return thanks to funding from the Irish government's Department of Foreign Affairs.

"The festival will be back this year and, hopefully, it will be better than ever.

"We are currently putting together a number of events which we hope will get people interested and motivated in the festival once again.

"We are working with the Ulster Scots Agency this year and, hopefully, we will be able to deliver something special for the people of the city.

"Between the two of us, we have been able to get funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin and, of course, Derry City Council and that has enabled us to organise the festival for this year."

Mr Moore says he hopes this year's festival will be successful and will allow the Apprentice Boys to organise bigger events in the coming years.

"Obviously, we have a number of special years coming up including 2013 which will mark the 400th anniversary of the building of the Walls and we will be organising something special for that. This year we want to motivate people to get involved so that we can build up to a really special celebration in 2013," he said.

This year's festival will take place at the beginning of August and will culminate with the annual Relief of Derry celebrations which will take place on Saturday, August 9.