With just weeks to go to the start of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Translink have come on board as the latest sponsor and will provide special train and bus services to transport tens of thousands of visitors to and from the city.
Translink will lay on additional late night trains on the Derry to Belfast line and regional coaches during the Fleadh, which will be held in the city from August 11-18.
Shuttle buses to ferry musicians and Fleadh-goers between campsites and competition venues in the city centre will also be provided.
Simon Corrigan, Translink Western Area Manager, said he is looking forward to working with Fleadh organisers. “We are delighted to sponsor Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2013 and look forward to welcoming competitors and visitors on board our services. We have been working closely with Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Doire to deliver a tailored transport plan that will suit the needs of competitors, their friends and families, visitors and local people.
“This is another major event in the 2013 UK City of Culture calendar and we want visitors to have an enjoyable experience in the city with hassle-free transport taking them to the heart of all the action so they can really immerse themselves in the music and culture. From local shuttle bus services to regional coach transport and special late night trains along with great value discounted tickets, we have created a transport plan to cater for a wide range of travel requirements.
“A dedicated Translink Fleadh Cheoil website section is now available to help people easily plan and purchase travel tickets in advance.
“We would like to wish the competitors and organisers every success with this flagship summer event and look forward to continuing to work with them in the weeks ahead,” he said.
Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, Chairperson of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Doire also welcomed the partnership. “We are absolutely delighted that Translink have been able to assist us in providing dedicated transport options for the Fleadh Cheoil. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the world’s largest celebration of Irish culture and as we welcome the estimated 300,000 visitors we expect to Derry this August, it was vital to us to make travel to and from the city and region as attractive as possible.
“This is the biggest event of the City of Culture year, bringing over €38million into our local economy. Translink must be commended for the work they have put into developing this plan which will benefit the entire region,” said Eibhlin.
The late night trains will operate during the weekend of August 16-18 when the largest crowds are expected. The last train will leave Derry at 11.40pm stopping at Coleraine, Bellarena, Castlerock, Ballymoney, Cullybackey, Ballymena, Antrim, Mossley West and Belfast Central.
Late night return rail tickets are £10-20 per person. Special regional coaches will also run from Belfast, Enniskillen, Omagh, Dungannon, Magherafelt and Newry at £16 per person.
Meanwhile, signs have been erected at all the major entrance points to the city welcoming Fleadh comeptitors to Derry ahead of the start of the Fleadh on Sunday August 11.