‘St. Columb’s Hall a gem like Naples Opera House’

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People Before Profit’s Eamonn McCann likened St. Columb’s Hall to the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples at a meeting of Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Business & Culture Committee this week.

He suggested some might accuse him of excessive civic patriotism but it was nonetheless the first thing he thought of when he attended an opera there recently.

“A wee while ago I was in Naples and I walked into the Naples Opera House, it was incredible to see an opera there, but what came to my mind was St. Columb’s Hall,” he said.

Colr. McCann said the 131 year old theatre in Derry was a “gem” that was “steeped in history”. He said the ‘People’s Hall’ was “worth saving” even if it was not commercially profitable to to do.

The People Before Profit Alliance Councillor was responding to proposals by the Garvan O’Doherty Group to redevelop the hall at the centre of a new creative skills quarter (CS/Q) in the city centre, which he said were “very positive.”