The Rose of Tralee contestants will visit Derry this summer during the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
The ‘Rose Tour’ will involve all 32 international ‘roses’ spending two nights in the north west, one in Limavady and one in Derry. The visit to the city will take place in August to coincide with the All-Ireland Fleadh - the largest celebrations of traditional Irish music in the world.
Organisers of the Rose of Tralee festival asked Derry City Council for £2,000 to cover the cost of the visit to the city and the matter was discussed at a meeting of the Council’s development committee this week where the request was approved.
Chair of the committee, SDLP councillor Brenda Stevenson said: “The amount requested is a drop in the ocean in terms of the exposure the city will get out of the visit.”
Colr. Martin Reilly also welcomed the move. “This will be the first time that the Rose Tour will visit the North and coming during the first visit of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to the North, it is a fantastic opportunity for the city.
“The cost is not significantly high in terms of the return we will get in exposure for the city,” he said.
Sinn Féin colr. Barney O’Hagan said: “The benefits are obvious to everyone. Anything that increases our profile for what we are trying to do here in this city this is to be welcomed. There is clear demonstrable benefit to this. The financial impliactions are minimal but councillor McGinley and myself would be prepared to act as escorts if that helped reduce any of the costs.”