Three local legends to feature on new Derry bus

Phil Coulter and James McClean's wife Erin McClean at the Foyle Legends bus unveiling in Guildhall Square.
Phil Coulter and James McClean's wife Erin McClean at the Foyle Legends bus unveiling in Guildhall Square.

James McClean, Phil Coulter and Roma Downey will feature on a new Foyle Legends bus as part of a new make-over, Translink have confirmed.

The three Derry legends came out on top from a shortlist that included The Undertones, Neil Hannon and Martin O’Neill among other notable stars from the city.

Translink revealed the Foyle Legends bus honouring Phil Coulter, Roma Downey and James McClean and a striking new look for the city’s bus service on Monday.

The actress, musician and footballer were chosen by local people in a public vote to feature on the city’s first ever ‘Bus of Legends’.

Translink unveiled the double decker to the public at a ceremony in Guildhall Square and Phil Coulter and members of James McClean’s family were at the big reveal, which also kicked off Bus + Train Week.

When he was notified of the honour, James McClean said: “I was completely overwhelmed with pride when I was told I was chosen by the people of my home town to receive this honour.

All aboard: Phil Coulter, Roma Downey and James McClean.

All aboard: Phil Coulter, Roma Downey and James McClean.

“I am so proud of where I come from and I truly believe Derry is the best place in the world. I am delighted to be considered in the same company as Roma Downey and Phil Coulter who I have great admiration for.”

Hundreds of people nominated and voted for their favourite Derry~stars throughout the Foyle Legends campaign. Phil Coulter, who was in attendance at the unveiling added:

“As a kid growing up in Derry, one of the most common insults was ‘You have a face like the back of a bus’. Little did I think that one day my face would be on a bus! 
“I am genuinely thrilled and grateful that my own people have voted for me as a legend and I’m happy to be sharing the honour with a Hollywood star and a soccer hero. Does this mean that I get to travel on the bus for free?”

Roma Downey, the Emmy-nominated actress and producer who has been called one of the ‘100 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood’ was unable to travel, but sent her best in a video message saying:

“What an honour and privilege it is to be a part of this wonderful campaign!

“I am very proud to be from Derry City and the people of Derry are close to my heart.

“Over the years it has always been important to me that I represent our city well and in a way that reminds people, what a great city we have.

“I have lived and worked all over the world and certainly you can take the girl out of Derry but you can never take Derry out of the girl! I love the spirit of my home town and I will always be a Derry girl at heart.”

In addition to celebrating Derry~Londonderry’s talent, the Foyle Legends bus reveal also marked the beginning of a new chapter for the city’s bus service.

The Foyle Legends bus is the first glimpse of the new service which will feature a brand new fleet of buses, a new timetable and better routes to shops and popular destinations, such as Altnagelvin Hospital.

Starting in September, the service has been renamed Foyle Metro.

The unveiling of the new bus and Foyle Metro branding also served as one of the first events of Northern Ireland’s second annual Bus + Train Week, which kicked off today.

The week is designed to promote the benefits of public transport and to encourage everyone in Northern Ireland to give the bus or train a go.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Ciaran Doherty, Translink Head of Bus Service, said:

“Today is a special day as we celebrate three examples of the amazing talent this city has produced. Phil Coulter, James McClean and Roma Downey are known around the world for their incredible talents and we hope our Legends bus provides a unique and eye-catching tribute to all of them.

“I would especially like to thank Phil Coulter and James McClean for attending today’s unveiling. Roma wishes she could be here but she had a conflict with an important family commitment. I would also like to express my gratitude to everyone who voted, as well as our judges who selected the shortlist.

“But today is also an exciting day for the city as we provide a glimpse at the new-look Foyle Metro service. As the city grows and evolves our public transport network must grow with it, which is why we have been carrying out ongoing consultations throughout the city to create a service that works for everyone. We look forward to implementing the new service this Autumn and what better way to celebrate this fantastic development than with one ‘legen-DERRY’ bus!” said Ciaran.

The Foyle Legends unveiling was just one of many events happening during Bus + Train Week, June 5 - 11. For more information and exclusive offers throughout the week, visit and join the conversation online @Translink_NI #GetOnBoardNI. To learn more about the new Foyle Metro service, visit