Security fears halt Derry Fleadh bid

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Moves to bring the 2013 All-Ireland Fleadh will now not proceed after the Ulster Council said it had security fears about bringing the event to the city.

The Ulster Council said it was with “deep regret and long consideration” that it had turned down the bid.

It had been hoped the Ulster Council would have ratified moves to bring the Fleadh - which could have brought around 25,000 people to the city - to Derry.

Two bombs exploded in the city last Thursday.

Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle Martina Anderson said: “The decision where to place the all-Ireland Fleadh is first and foremost one for Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and its members. As a political representative in Derry I have been lobbying strongly for the event to be brought to the city. But this is not a political event and I respect absolutely the right of the CCE membership to have their say on the location of the Fleadh.

“Not surprisingly it is my view that Derry would be an ideal location for the event. There was considerable support within Comhaltas in the city to host the Fleadh. Others within CCE hold a different view and it has now been decided by the Officer Board of the Ulster Council not to support the Derry bid.

“While that is extremely disappointing for Derry and for those of us who have been working hard on this bid the only way the All-Ireland Fleadh can come to Derry is by working closely with the various tiers of Comhaltas structures and ultimately the Ard Chomhaile of the CCE will decide on the location of the Fleadh.

“In the coming days I will again meet with representatives of CCE to establish if we as a city can make any further efforts to deal with any genuine concerns being expressed by Comhaltas members about the ability of the city to successfully host the Fleadh.”

Full coverage and reaction in tomorrow’s Derry Journal