Sharing Derry City F.C.’s amazing success

It hardly seems a month has passed since I last put pen to paper for this article but I’m reliably informed it has.

In his monthly column Derry’s Mayor Kevin Campbell reflects on a successful December with Derry City FC’s success, the switching-on of the Christmas lights and the Christmas continental market.

It hardly seems a month has passed since I last put pen to paper for this article but I’m reliably informed it has.

During the past four weeks I have again been busy but of course being busy is always better than the alternative.

So where to begin?

First off I had the pleasure and the privilege of visiting Boston to attend the Golden Bridges Conference.

This was a unique opportunity to showcase Derry in the lead in to 2013, the City of Culture and of course Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.

The objective of the visit was to create new contacts in Boston and nurture a range of relationships that will help create business opportunities, future research, development and trade linkages with the city.

Needless to say we were selling Derry for all we were worth and I met with a number of key business contacts.

We were able to identify a range of economic and cultural links that connect Derry and Boston.

Among the people whom I met on the trip were Massachusetts Senate President Theresa Murray, Tom Gardel from the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and Peter Abair from Economic Development and Global affairs at Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. I would be more than hopeful that in the coming months and years we will see the benefits of this trip.

And speaking of good trips, I was down in Dublin with thousands of fellow Derry people to see City lift the FAI Cup.

It was a great day for the management, players and fans and I can only pay tribute to the efforts of Derry City Football Club in capping the season with a great victory.

I have to confess I have never been much of a soccer fan but even a novice like myself was thrilled with the performance, and more importantly the result.

I had the pleasure of hosting the players and staff at a civic reception on their return to Derry with the Cup and a great night was had by all.

And speaking of great nights the city enjoyed another one when over 10,000 people gathered to welcome Santa and switch on the Christmas lights.

This has been consistently one of the most popular and successful family occasions in the city’s calendar of events and this year was no different.

I cannot help but get the feeling that Derry and the North West generally is really gearing up for next year.

There seems to be an appetite and an enthusiasm to get involved that I haven’t witnessed before and that we are seeing in events like the Clipper, Halloween and the Christmas Lights.

It really is a great feeling and augurs well for next year.

Prior to the switch-on of the lights, Guildhall Square was a sea of red and white with children screaming in delight when Santa himself arrived with Mrs Claus, courtesy of the Fire Brigade.

From the 1st to the 23nd December the Christmas Market will be in situ in Guildhall Square for the first time.

This will help create a great atmosphere and become the centre piece of festive activities that can only enhance the experience for all the people of the city