Foyle MP Mark Durkan met Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Westminster this week at a reception to discuss the importance of the City of Culture celebrations.
Speaking after the meeting, the former SDLP leader said the Taoiseach recognised the importance of tourism to Derry in 2013.
“The Taoiseach spoke about the Irish government’s plans for next year’s ‘Gathering’ in the Republic and the importance of the City of Culture year for the tourism and hospitality sectors throughout the island of Ireland.
“He also acknowledged the importance of Derry’s success in getting the All-Ireland Fleadh,” he said.
Mr Durkan also said the Fine Gael leader spoke about Irish government projects in Derry. “Following meetings in Downing Street and with the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce the Taoiseach stressed the economic need to develop East-West and North-South co-operation. Indeed, he acknowledged that there is no more obvious need for this than here in the North West.
“In relation to this the Taoiseach reflected on the Irish government’s commitment and funding for the North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin.
“He also acknowledged the importance of the development of energy throughout the island – including the renewables-related grid, infrastructure and exports of both renewable technology and energy.
“I also pointed out to him that I have been pressing to ensure that the new Green Investment Bank being set up by the British government would not only be fully available and accessible in the North, but must also not exclude projects that have a cross-border character as has happened in some previous measures.
“I was delighted to see that the Taoiseach was very well received by all.”