Nail-biting countdown for Record Jumper bid
The thousands of people who turned out in their festive jumpers at the weekend for the World Record bid have been praised for helping to put the city on the map.
The numbers are still being verified but it is understood the total figure of participants is likely to be very close to those in Kansas who hold the current world record.
From babies through to people in their 90s , people of all ages converged at Waterloo Place and Guildhall Square before taking to the City Walls on Sunday in a bid to add to the city’s record-busting prowess.
Tens of thousands of pounds has been donated by those taking part, with the proceeds set to be split between four charities: Muscular Dystrophy UK, Foyle Hospice, Children in Crossfire and Concern.
The current record of 3473 people was set on December 19, 2015 by Kansas Athletics at a men’s basketball game in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
It could now be several days or weeks before the outcome of Derry’s bid is officially verified but indications are expected later this week.
Well known local fundraiser Martin Mullan , who is collating the figures for Derry’s bid for Guinness, praised those who turned out, and said it will be down to the a close finish in terms of whether Derry has clinched the title.
“This was ordinary people who came out in strength. The people of this city are just wonderful they way they turned out in their droves on a cold Sunday morning.
“The first man we put through was a 92-year-old, and we had a late surge of people coming along. It was wonderful to see and it was another great festive event.”
Mr Mullan also praised the organisers for taking on the mammoth challenge of co-ordinating and publicising the Christmas Jumper Word Record Bid.
Among the others who took part were local primary schools, Derry City FC, GAA clubs, Apprentice Boys of Derry, and the city’s two bishops Donal McKeown and Ken Good.
Among the local politicians taking part was SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan.
Mr Durkan, who joined in the world record attempt his wife Jackie and daughter Dearbháil, said:
“I was delighted to join a great turnout in Derry in support of the Christmas Jumper World Record attempt.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the charities and volunteers who gave up their time to make this event such a huge success.”
Mr Durkan added: “It will be really great news for all of them if their hard work is rewarded later this week by a new world record.”