Phenomenal success of Derry’s Foyle Cup and Maritime Festival praised

Great praise was heaped upon the organisers of the Foyle Cup and council officers and staff involved in the Foyle Maritime Festival by elected representatives attending the full meeting of Derry City and Strabane Council.

Mayor, Councillor Sandra Duffy commented that no one could ‘fail to see the buzz’ that was around the city and district over the course of the last week and a half. 

She said: “The Foyle Cup brought 7,000 plus youngsters into the city and with them came family and supporters. There were teams from the city and district, there were teams from further afield, there were international teams from America and Europe and it was just an amazing sight to see.

“I was so lucky to be able to get to some of the games, I was lucky to be able to get to the Brandywell on Saturday for some of the finals and the atmosphere throughout the week was tremendous.

The Foyle Cup 2022 parade.

“I want to congratulate the organisers of the Foyle Cup and I want to thank the council officers who would be involved particularly our grounds and maintenance people.”

Moving on to the Foyle Maritime Festival, the Mayor described it as a ‘tremendous week’ adding; “The atmosphere was amazing, the number of people we saw along the Quay who had come from far and wide and the number of local people who I hadn’t seen for two years because of the pandemic was fabulous.

“As a city and district we were so ready to embrace it and it certainly showcased our city and district in a fantastic light. I know from talking to crews coming off the boats that they couldn’t believe the atmosphere and welcome they had from this council area.

“I want to congratulate everyone who made that possible, including the Derry and Strabane public who came out and embraced it and put on record our thanks to council officers who went over and above to ensure that it ran smoothly.”

The Foyle Maritime Festival reaches its climax this weekend as over 150,000 people are expected to visit Derry-Londonderry before the departure of the Clipper Road the World Yacht Race on Sunday as they complete their global race. Picture Martin McKeown. 22.07.22

Supporting the Mayor’s comments, DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney also offered his party’s thanks to the council officers and staff who delivered the successful event. Supporting the comments on the Foyle Cup, SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney added: “The organisers of the Foyle Cup always go above and beyond but I think they stretched that limit this year and it was great to see it back in the city and district and I sincerely hope it grows even further in the years to come.”

Moving on he said: “A huge well done to everyone involved with the Foyle Maritime Festival. It  was a fantastic celebration along the Quay and the numbers I believe will break any records of Maritime Festivals in years gone by. With the pandemic you realise how lucky we are to have these fantastic festivals within our city and district.”

Alliance Councillor Rachael Ferguson said the Foyle Cup provided ‘such an amazing buzz’ and that everyone has been talking about the Maritime Festival because ‘it was absolutely amazing especially with the fireworks on the last night.’

Extending his gratitude to the organisers of the Foyle Cup, Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson said: “It goes without saying the Foyle Cup has become a staple in the calendar of our city and district particularly for anyone who is interested in sport.

Singing sailors entertain during the Foyle Maritime Festival. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2229GS – 057

“This year the Foyle Cup committee outdone themselves. One of the key positives we have seen in this year’s Foyle Cup is the increase in female participants and there was quite a few of the ladies teams from within our own city and district that did very well and I have no doubt that will have a snowball effect and a massive impact in terms of encouraging young girls participating in sport.

“In relation to the Maritime Festival, like others, we want to congratulate everyone who played a role in what turned out to be a fantastic event. Our council officers have become renowned for delivering festivals and events on an international scale and the Foyle Maritime festival did not disappoint.”

UUP Alderman Darren Guy added his congratulations to the organisers of the Foyle Cup saying it was ‘great sight’ to see the parade of players down Great James Street. “The kids just love it,” he commented. “All those teams are great ambassadors for our city and district and there was a great buzz around the town when it is on.”

He added the Maritime Festival was a ‘testament’ to the professional work carried out by the  council events team and all the staff who worked at the festival on a daily basis.”

Echoing the previous comments, People Before Profit Councillor Maeve O’Neill said the Foyle Cup had become an ‘incredible international tournament’.

Bringing comments to a close, Mayor, Councillor Sandra Duffy said the key would be to maintain the ‘buzz’ along the Quay all year round.”

She added: “If you go to any European city the life and soul is along the quay so we do need to look at that.”

By Gillian Anderson

Local Democracy Reporter