No arrests during ‘safe and welcoming’ Maritime Festival

There was a large attendance, along Derry's quay, throughout the Foyle Maritime Festival. DER2818GS040
There was a large attendance, along Derry's quay, throughout the Foyle Maritime Festival. DER2818GS040

There was not a single arrest in connection with Derry’s 10-day Maritime Festival despite an estimated 220,000 having gathered for the festivities, it has been confirmed.

Praise has been heaped on the organisers as well as those who turned out for the massive festival along Queen’s Quay, with preparations now set to begin for the next event, expected to take place in summer 2020.

Speaking about the festival, PSNI Chief Inspector Paul McCracken said last night: “It was great to see so many people enjoying the festival and a huge part of its success is the energy and positivity of the people of this city.

“Alongside our colleagues in the other emergency services and our partners in Council we were pleased to play our part in making sure the city is a safe and welcoming place for everyone.”

Derry hosted the Clipper race for the fourth time this year, although opted not to participate in the actual race.

Speaking about potential future partnerships, a spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council said that it had “a very strong and positive working relationship with Clipper Ventures”.

The spokesperson added: “The Council is delighted to have been included in this prestigious race and to be a host post in the 2017-18 Race.

“Any plans to be involved in any future races with Clipper Ventures is a matter for members of Derry City and Strabane District Council to discuss.

“Council will continue to work closely with Clipper Ventures with regard to this race and to explore any future opportunities that may arise. Council’s main priority moving forward is to continue to promote our maritime offering and to include the Foyle Maritime Festival in our Festival and Events Strategy.”

Over the 10 days the River Foyle became a hive of activity as the city hosted a flotilla of vessels from across the world, including naval vessels, a seafaring jazz band and historic long ships.

Karen Henderson from Visit Derry, said that the final hotel occupancy over the nine days was 91.29 per cent.

Commenting on the tens of thousands of visitors who flocked to the city for the Foyle Maritime Festival and Foyle Cup, she said: “Both events have been a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city as an international tourist destination.”