Hallowe’en and Derry City hailed as councillors return to Guildhall for post-COVID normality

As Derry City and Strabane City Council returned to the Guildhall for the first full meeting since the Covid pandemic began, councillors were unanimous in their praise for the successful Hallowe’en events and in their congratulations for Derry City’s success in winning the FAI Cup.

The Mayor at Hallowe'en.
The Mayor at Hallowe'en.

Mayor, Sinn Féin councillor Sandra Duffy said: “I want to put on record my thanks and congratulations to the council officers who had worked extremely hard on making it a success,” she said. “The numbers coming into the city certainly paid testament to that and even the rain didn’t put people off.”

Moving on to Derry City, the Mayor added: “It was a fantastic time for our city and district and it gave us all a huge lift and there was huge civic pride associated with it.”

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Former Mayor, Independent councillor Graham Warke, offered his congratulations to council staff for a ‘fantastic Hallowe’en festival’.

He said: “The numbers spoke for themselves and everyone benefitted from hotels to restaurants and it was great to see the buzz back again. I would also like to say a huge congratulations to Derry City Football Club.”

SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said: “We have shown the very best of what this city and district has to offer. It was a huge success enjoyed by many families.”

Turning his thoughts to Derry City, he continued: “I was at the game in the Aviva Stadium and it was absolutely fantastic to have Derry City bring the cup up the road.

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“Derry City’s success, and for anyone who attends the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium for home games, will see the huge interest from people right across this city and district to attend the Brandywell.

“I think it opens a lot of questions for this council around the development at the Brandywell but I think it also opens a lot of fresh questions for the Department for Communities around the Regional Stadia Funding and we would be very keen to see that conversation being ramped up over the coming weeks and months.”

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People Before Profit councillor Maeve O’Neill and Independent Raymond Barr added their thanks to the council officers for Hallowe’en and congratulations to Derry City, before DUP Alderman Maurice Devenney said: “I have no problem in joining with the rest in congratulating Derry City on their excellent win but I do wait on their response in around the chanting from the fans earlier on when Her Majesty has passed away.”

Reflecting on the full council meeting being held in the chamber, Sinn Féin Christopher Jackson said it was ‘another step towards moving back to normality’ before echoing previous comments on Derry City’s cup win.

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“There’s something magical happening within the club at the minute, people recognise that and we as a council, if there is anything we could do to support them then we should be doing it.”

Alliance councillor Rachael Ferguson added her party’s congratulations to the football club and to council officers.

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Alderman Derek Hussey said: “I would like to congratulate the club not only for their achievement on the pitch but for the way the club is developing.

“It’s my understanding there is an emphasis on bringing local talent into the player pool and that’s something that can benefit not only the club but every other club in the area.”