Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, has reiterated his support for Derry City and Strabane District Council’s (D.C.S.D.C.) bid for Derry to be crowned European Youth Capital.
D.C.S.D.C. will find out if their bid has been short-listed on April 26.
“I along with my ministerial colleagues in the outgoing Executive, Carál Ní Chuilín in the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure and John O’Dowd in Education have been strong supporters of this bid since its inception,” said Mr. McGuinness.
“We are now fast approaching the first major hurdle in D.C.S.D.C.’s bid for European Youth Capital which is the shortlisting stage on April 26.”
Mr. McGuinness said he believed those with responsibility of selecting the winning bid will be impressed with what they have seen in Derry.
“Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has secured a meeting with European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics (European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport) to lobby support for the bid a this meeting will take place today [April 13] in Strasbourg.
“There’s no doubt that Derry’s year as City of Culture 2013 made a massive impression beyond our expectations on international audiences and I have every confidence that those tasked with adjudicating on the bid for European Youth Capital will be similarly impressed.”
He added: “City of Culture not only encouraged young people to get involved in cultural activity and be part of international celebrations but has given them the appetite for more.
Mr. McGuinness went on to say that a successful European Youth Capital bid would reap remarkable rewards for the city and district.
“The success of major events such as the Radio One Big Weekend, the Return of Colmcille and the all-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil instilled a sense of pride not just in our youth but everyone in any way connected to Derry.
Success in the bid for European Youth Capital for Derry and Strabane would reinforce the image of the District as an international cultural hubMartin McGuinness
“Success in the bid for European Youth Capital for Derry and Strabane would reinforce the image of the District as an international cultural hub. It would make a major contribution in showcasing our tourism offering and our unique cultural and historical Heritage.
“It would once more provide us with an opportunity to showcase the vibrancy and creativity of our young people.
“I am confident that if we can progress past this shortlisting stage that we can go on to secure the title. I give my wholehearted support to the council and congratulate all those who worked on preparing the bid.”