Thank goodness the political chaff won’t hurt Londonderry culture bid

Spare us the egotism of small-minded differences. Gregory says exactly the wrong thing, preferring to dig at Sinn Fein rather than strike a blow for Derry.

If I wanted to be facetious, I would say that at the very outset of this bid, the clue was in the name: ‘UK City of Culture. Why on earth would they plump for a city whose elected representatives are divided on whether we should take the accolade if they’re awarded it?”

It’s not just an accolade, Gregory, it’s a chance to bring development to your native city and allow it to break from the worst of its past. Are you up for it or do you belong to the wretched tradition of the Faceless Men who argued against the university for Derry when you were a boy? Mark Durkan calibrates it exactly for any sane nationalist.

This bid is an opportunity for Derry to promote itself as a city and to promote the wider region. It is about our civic ambition. It is about our cultural ambition. It is nothing to do with political aspiration . . What we have to do now is make sure that all parts of the . . . community can get behind the bid.”

Fortunately the low level chaff won’t affect the prospects. Note, SF have not repudiated it. Stick to the bid Marie LouIse, the name is a pimple not worth picking..

  • joeCanuck

    Bad spelling, Brian. You did mean chav, not chaff, presumably.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Apologies for posting this on the wrong Derry/Londonderry thread

    .It would be churlish not to wish Derry/Londonderry well. It shares so much in common with Liverpool another place of culture….for example most of its successful ex-residents choose to live eleswhere while singing “The Town I loved so Well”.
    But lets not lose sight of what this is all about……..MONEY.
    If I was a journalist in Derry and worried about my career prospects in an economic downturn, Id be forming a PR company to assist in the bid.
    No doubt when we see a list of backers for the Project we will see loadsa familiar journalistic names who couldnt resist the call to assist……er for a consultancy fee.

    Nobody is going to get poor out of this. Some might even get rich.
    Rather like the Mel Brooks comedy “The Producers” it doesnt actually matter (to the PR companies) whether Derry/Londonderry succeeds or fails.

    For myself, I look forwars to Guild Hall Square being packed with Derry residents cheerfully waving their national flag (er both of them) while the people who actually awarded the title cringe and the Daily Mail goes mad.

    “Gin and tonics all round…..and may I look at your brochure on villas in spain?”

  • joeCanuck

    Quite a few commenters on the other thread don’t think too highly of Derry. Might I suggest to them that the next time they are there they walk the complete walls. It’s an amazing stroll and full of history.

  • old school

    I´ve pondered more on Derry deservance of this award.
    People point to it´s famous misicians and writers, so I´ve compiled a list.
    Feel free to add.
    Seamus Heaney.
    Although educated in Derry City is actually a country boy from the Swatragh area.
    Fergal Sharkey:
    Born in Derry, yes. But in an interview said “he would raise a dog in Derry.” Last spotted in Los Angeles.
    Phil Coulter.
    We love/hate him for his “Town I love so well”, but the love seemed so intense he moved to Inishowen, Donegal.
    John Hume.
    Derry´s most famous son, also more likely to be seen in his house in Inishowen ,Donegal.
    Our Nadine:
    Pretty popstar is staunchly hanging on to her Derry whiny accent and working class roots whilst (like Sharkey)moving to Los Angeles.
    Joseph Locke.
    Derry´s finest voice. “Hear my song” …all the way from England.
    Even the only positive song about Derry, “I wish I was back home in Derry” was written by Bobby Sands. Who by all counts never visited the place.
    I suggest this as the slogan if they win.
    “Derry. Everyone loves you mucker. No…Really hi!”

  • old school

    Joe I used to walk and sometimes flee on the Walls as a kid on my way to school.
    Yes, it is aesthetically beautiful, I admit, if you can pretend not to notice the CCTV every few metres. It´s not very stimulating or inspiring, and not the place to sit and ponder on the meaning of life etc.
    It´s a nice walk with views but lacks intimacy and solace.
    Unless you try it around 3 AM.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    And Dana…MEP
    Actually I do like Derry. Had the window of my car broken at Altnagelvin Hospital in April 1973 but I am not the sorta person to hold a grudge.

  • old school

    Soory. Sharkey said he “wouldn’t” raise a dog in Derry. Just for clarification.
    why can´t we edit these damned things.

  • old school

    Dana left Derry a loooooooong time ago.
    We still have Eamonn Mc Cann and Gerry Anderson though.
    City of Culture, bring it on.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Yes Eamonn McCann could be the poster boy for the Campaign.
    I quite like the thought of Phil Coulter composing a song for it. Lyrics by Seamus Heaney and sung by Sharkey, Nadine and Dana.
    It WILL come to pass.
    Theres money to be made and bandwagons to be jumped on.

  • old school

    Almost celestial, Fitz.

  • joeCanuck

    old school,
    You wouldn’t happen to be one of the 10 year old kids who hung around outside Wee Johnny’s pleading to the 15 year olds “Hey, Mister, would you leave me your butt?”

  • FitzjamesHorse

    We laugh…..but we know its gonna happen.
    Might even form a PR company.
    I think it right and proper that if I do get involved, I declare an interest.

  • old school

    No Joe, I never hung around street corners butt-hunting or searching out fags.
    I was more of a 10p mix kind of guy.
    Humility is my strength.

  • joeCanuck

    10p? Lucky bastwich; I only got thruppence and that was the old money.

  • Wabbits

    The Restoration dramatist George Farquhar
    Authors Joyce Cary, Seamus Deane, Jennifer Johnston
    Poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney
    Social Democratic and Labour Party founder member and Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume
    Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness
    Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill educated in Derry
    Manchester United player Darron Gibson
    Actress Amanda Burton
    Actress Roma Downey
    Actress Eva Birthistle
    Girls Aloud member Nadine Coyle
    Eurovision Song Contest winner and former politician Dana
    The band the Undertones and their one-time lead singer Feargal Sharkey
    Jimmy McShane aka Baltimora.
    Peter Cunnah – Lead singer D-Ream
    Singer Joseph Locke

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Id be surprised if the Restoration dramatist George Farquhar showed up for the celebrations.

  • Wabbits

    Oops. I forgot to mention playwrite Brian Friel and Derry artist and Turner prize nominee Willie Doherty.

    Broadcaster David Dunseath is also a Derry man, I believe.

    Also mention should go to former Northern Ireland football internationals – Fay Coyle, John “Jobby” Crossan and his brother Eddie, John O’Neill, Paul Ramsay,Gary Fleaming,Felix Healey and Paddy McCourt
    Also Derry born are quite a number of MLA’s at Stormont.

  • Wabbits

    Oops. I forgot to mention playwrite Brian Friel and Derry artist and Turner prize nominee Willie Doherty.

    Broadcaster David Dunseath is also a Derry man, I believe.

    Also mention should go to former Northern Ireland football internationals – Fay Coyle, John “Jobby” Crossan and his brother Eddie, John O’Neill, Paul Ramsay,Gary Fleaming,Felix Healey and Paddy McCourt
    Also Derry born are quite a number of MLA’s at Stormont.

  • Framer

    Mrs Alexander of the Londonderry Air (Danny Boy).

  • ordinary joe

    Lundy.

  • old school

    Framer, didn´t Mrs Alexander pen those notes after hearing some bum in Limavady play it in the a street.
    I believe it´s called plagiarising these days.
    Wabbits can you revise your list under the bracket “culture”.
    Jobby Crossan and Mc Guinness hardly can be termed as cultural even if he is the author of crap poetry.
    You may as well add local street character Joe Mc Keever.

  • damon

    This ‘City of Clulture’ thing reminds me of the Eurovision Song Contest.

    What actual benifits might it bring?
    Having the ‘sports personality of the year’ event doesn’t sound like something to get too excited over.

  • Paddy

    Derry, which Nazis insist on calling Londonderry, did not get the university because it is a prisoner in an Orange state. Making Derry a so called “UK” city of culture when the Orange marchers, Orange killers and Orange beneficiaries of the Orange state have not been brought to book does not make sense. It is celebrating supremacism. It is like making Montgomery Alabama a city of culture and having Orangie’s Yankee cousins marching in their hoods.

    Orange Culture is an oxymoron.

  • joeCanuck

    Paddy, you have to start taking your medication again.

  • Neil

    We still have Eamonn Mc Cann

    LOL precisely. Eamonn of the ‘drive out the multinational software firms’ and ‘close this bloody airport’ fame. Of course he stayed, he just wanted to make sure it stayed a total shit hole by preventing non NMW jobs from coming.

    I understand some people have fond memories of the place, but I ask, again, list me the cultural highlights of Derry, so I know. And by that I mean a list of theatres, art galleries and top end musical venues. As far as I know there’s the Playhouse, the Nerve Centre and that’s it. Oh and walls. It has walls. Overlooking the Fountain and the Bog. Lovely. As pointed out above it’s very nice if you ignore the CCTV cameras, the young thugs throwing people’s dogs off the walls, and the sectarian incidents 3 times weekly.

    Diversity? Not in Derry bud, not when I was there. Two branches of Christianity and they can’t even look at each other. Very culturally diverse. I shudder to think what happens to the Poles, Czechs etc. that have probably arrived recently.

  • bohereen

    Dear god,
    Wrong so wrong. Jennifer Johnson only married (after he put his first wife out) a Derry man.
    Mrs Alexander? Don’t you mean the “Without a ciy wall, all things bright and beautiful” one? The Dean’s daughter. Don’t think she had much to do with the Derry Air. I may be wrong.

    I believe Ian Botham may have been born in Derry.

  • joeCanuck

    Correct, botheereen.
    From Wiki:
    The most popular lyrics for the tune are “Danny Boy” (“Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling”), written by English lawyer Frederick Edward Weatherly in 1910, and set to the tune in 1913.

  • old school

    Scraping the barrel with this one, but I´m pretty sure Prince Harry’s father (the cad himself) was also born in Derry.
    Probably where he picked up his caddishness.

  • joeCanuck

    You’re sure who his father is?