Accommodation for fleadh planned

Sinn F�in's Maeve McLaughlin. (0806MM30)
Sinn F�in's Maeve McLaughlin. (0806MM30)

Legislation could be relaxed to allow a ‘host family’ scheme to operate in Derry next year during the All Ireland Fleadh, a local MLA has said.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin welcomed the announcement by Enterprise Trade, and Investment minister Arlene Foster that she is considering relaxing legislation in order to provide more information for next August’s fleadh, when up to 300,000 people are expected to visit the city.

“I asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Arlene Foster to consider relaxing the 1992 legislation in relation to accommodation to allow for a host family scheme during the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2013 in Derry.

“I welcome the Minister’s response that her Department has provided advice to the NI Tourist Board (NITB) on how alternative accommodation options, such as a host family scheme, might potentially be accommodated under the existing legislation governing the certification of tourism accommodation,” Ms McLaughlin said.

The Assembly member said the move, if it goes ahead, could provide additional accommodation for the huge influx of visitors expected for the fleadh. “Although the Minister pointed to the need for further information before a definitive position on the potential legislative implications can be reached it is encouraging that possibilities are being considered.

“The Minister pledged that Officials in DETI will continue to work in conjunction with NITB to ensure that accommodation options for 2013 are maximised,” she said.

Ms McLaughlin has previously called for a more creative approach to accommodation needs.