Decision time for the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture bid…

Over at Listenderry, Mark’s calling for volunteers to cover the unveiling of the winner of UK City of Culture… Whether you are in Derry/Londonderry or just plain old London get in touch with him via email or the Listenderry Facebook group… As Brian noted on Monday the Mail says they are favourites (but it wouldn’t be the first that time that great organ of British middle class propaganda got something badly wrong…

The current Mayor of the city thinks it will be good regardless of a win or a lose… But I know from my conversations with people across the political piste that not everyone has bought into the feel-goodness of the bid…

If you think it is a distraction from the real issues, or your don’t like the UK tag or think it is not reflecting the real diversity of the people of the city, drop myself or Mark a line and have your say on Listenderry or take an essay slot here on Slugger…

But last word to former Derry City football supporter, Gregory Campbell MP who clearly (albeit in a backwards coming forwards sort of way) also backs the bid:

Gregory Campbell on chances City of Culture Bid 2013 from Derry Web on Vimeo.

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  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    So the predominant Nationalist council and population of this city want to name it Derry (not Londonderry) …. yet nominate it for United Kingdom City of Culture.

    Confused? ….or just Hypocrites?

  • It’s actually nice to see the vast majority of the city, and its politicians, being able to put that aside for the good of everyone.

    Afterall, their first responsibility is to the people that elected them. If a win can bring jobs and investment and the collaborative efforts we’ve seen in the city in the last few months I couldnt care less if it was the Slovenian City of Culture.

  • Rory Carr

    The good people of Derry, Greagoir, are as entitled (within the UK) to insist that their city lose its ‘London’ prefix as would the good people of Derby if they also felt their city name had been so marginalised had it been saddled with ‘Londonderby’. The same would apply to any ‘Londonhamilton’, ‘Londonabergavenny’, or ‘Londonyork’ for that matter. Indeed I can only but imagine how any Yorkshireman would have reacted to such an insult.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I suppose there will be another thread if the city actually wins.
    And a thread if it loses.
    But precedence suggests it will win.
    the thing is that Derry is so much like that other city of culture…..Liverpyuil.
    From Gerry and the Pacemakers singing “Ferry Cross the Mersey” (not a dry eye in the house) we will have “The Town I Love So Well” with Gerry and the Peacemakers.

    A lot of people will make a lot of money….but probably not very many ordinary people. But a bumper pay day for the Overclass.

  • THEY DID IT!!!!

    I am so pleased for Derry / Londonderry! The real ‘So good they named it twice!’


  • Drumlin Rock

    you beat me to it, lol

    could we call the city Derrylondonderry? lol bit long I know, sorry will keep of that subject! It was good on them to win and look forward to some of the celebrations, might try to get some of the tourists to stop of in Tyrone on the way through!

  • Drumlin Rock

    change the record FJH

  • Mrazik

    Well done Derry.

  • Rory Carr

    They won it! Forget your bias and your cynicism and be happy for those who worked so hard! and deserve the goodies I sincerely hope are coming their way.

    New York is named after York. Remember where that is???

    Get a grip and be a man (for once)

  • Mick O’ Kelly

    Congrats to my hometown on the Foyle,we used to call it Lootin’ Town back in the early days of the riots.

  • D R

    Right now Im so pleased and relieved I dont care what they call it!

    It is a genuine opportunity for work, growth and peace. I just hope we are all wise enough to grab it before it floats by!

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Well done LONDONderry!


  • diarmaid

    Congrats on the city of culture bid. Especially coming in the wake of a highly successful Feile na nOg and Feis doire colmcille. Such UK culture events deserve recognition!!!!!

    I ask what about our city is UK culture. We are one of the longest inhabited places on the island of Ireland. We hold a rich history intertwined with Irish monks, from where the name of our city comes. Even the orange marching in our city, which I may not partake in, is a uniquely Irish tradition. It is not widely done anywhere outside of Ireland, and the Orange order was founded in Ireland and on Dawson Street of our capitol there is a plaque to mark the first meeting of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland.

    I ask will all those plastic Nationalists/Republicans who supported this bid be handing in their passports and getting a UK passport with Londonderry listed as their place of birth. Will the Guildhall square be awash with union jacks on the Queens birthday, night at the proms, and will the St Patricks day parades be cancelled, as St Patrick is not a UK saint. Will all those plastic nationalists MPs be prepared to take seats and oaths in the mother of all parliaments of the country that they have attached our city as a capitol of. If not, then this was a sell out. If you will not wear the flag of the UK, carry the passport of the UK and take an oath to the first citizen of the UK then how can you sell out your cities rich cultural heritage to the UK. We may be governed by the UK but we are culturally apart.

    This is an absolute disgrace. No money will follow this. Belfast civil servants will still run the North. The train will not be upgraded. The Motorway will not exist and Derry will not benefit from this. No sustainable, non-call centre jobs will come to the city and the young will still have to leave to study due to the student cap.

    Derry should be secure in its self as a hugely significant Irish city, that has played a part in all aspects of Irish history, and produced so many great men and woman. We should be competing with cities like Galway for tourists. We should be marketing ourself as the historic city we are, the historic Irish city with a uniquely Irish experience. This is a set back to tourism. Driven by insecure people who would rather their names in the paper than actually do something to help our city.

    Not in my name. I have never been ashamed to be a Derry man. However tonight I am. This has set the course of a free 32 county republic, with equal rights for all, not based on creed, sex, colour or status, back for good I fear.

    I sincerely hope I am wrong.


    Diarmaid Semple

  • diarmaid

    The title appears to have depressed you!

    The truth is Derry is currently in the UK, that fact is very unlikely to change between now and the next GE. It is a good thing to see people trying to think round the blocks and make a difference financially and socially to a city that imo has been neglected for a very long time.

    You should not be ashamed of that, you should be pleased.

  • Rory Carr

    I don’t expect that many human beings react very favourably to being told what they should and should not do. I certainly don’t and I further expect that Diarmaid knows his own mind best – he certainly expressed it above with some zest and a considerable measure of belief in his opinion.

    However in assessing Pippakin’s impertinent response to Diarmaid’s comments we must, I suppose, be charitable and make allowances for those who have more experience of addressing cats than they do of interacting with their fellow creatures. I hear, Pippakin, that Bingo is an enjoyable social event for many people but I can only recommend it on hearsay having no personal experience thereof myself.

  • Rory (expletive deleted) Carr

    Of course, approaching the end of a perfect weekend…

    How fortunate Diarmaid must feel to have you leap to his defence. Im sure his views coinciding exactly with your own had nothing to do with it. BTW where did you send this from, the London bolt hole?

    You have at last stumbled upon something we have in common. It appears, if you were telling the truth (I know I am) neither of us has ever played Bingo.

    Did I ever mention how relieved I was to hear you: “hate f*****g cats, hence the hastily chosen photo.

    Got to go, nursing a black eye, nothing to do with Slugger!

  • diarmaid

    I did not dispute the fact that Derry is currently governed by the UK. I can add, a government that we have no vote for/against, and a head of state that cannot be attained by a large percentage of the population because of religion.

    The democratic deficit aside, I said clearly that Derry is not a city of UK culture. We are a city of Irish culture, a great Irish city that existed before Belfast even existed as a swamp!! (might I add)

    The fact is if you ask the majority of Derry people to tick a box British or Irish they will choose Irish. I would like to see the numbers of Irish v British passports.

    Furthermore UK city of culture was developed for cities like Sheffield, Birmingham etc. Cities that have real problems expressing their British culture and English culture of which they should. It was not set up to placate people on this Island, or justify the jobs of those who can’t seem to justify them by inward investment and tourism.

    I personally would loved to have seen the people of Sheffield or Birmingham come together, regardless of creed or colour and celebrate their culture.

    I ask for UK culture events that happen in Derry?

    I listed many events, that are not UK in culture and do not occur widely outside of this Island.

    I am ashamed. I am ashamed that small-minded people in my city, in my name, drove this forward, to the detriment of those great English cities. I am ashamed that those organising this have ignored us who are against it, and that the ‘oh so cultural’ local press refused to publish letters expressing a view against. The BBC local radio shows also refused to air the thoughts of those who disagreed with this move. I am ashamed that people think this will bring investment. It will not. If it does I would happily go back to Derry and work. But as is, there is no hope for my generation to get a decent job in our hometown. Sure I couldn’t even study in my own city because o the cultural cap on student numbers.

    This is a distraction from the real problems of Derry, and will result in more empty apartments, and retail spaces for the same people to move between.

    I repeat, I would not travel on a UK passport, would not fly the flag of the UK, nor consider myself a subject of its Queen or government, and so take offence at it claiming my cultural heritage. Call it what you want, but I have my principles and I am prepared to stick by them.


    if only writing my dissertation came as easy as this!!!

  • Diarmaid

    Derry is indeed an Irish city and I believe in the not too distant future the missing legal formality will be democratically endorsed.

    Derry is Irish but no one can deny the British history and nor should anyone want to since that history is also Irish history.

    The Irish government has endorsed the city of culture bid, people have worked very hard to achieve it and in doing so have probably given Derry opportunity and progress.

    I believe there are people in Derry who cling to their British passports because they are afraid of annihilation in a UI. I also believe people like you are one of the reasons they are afraid, and may even be right to be so.

  • wee buns

    you really should not feel that way. Nor should you express yourself . If you insist on doing so, it is because you hold a hidden agenda, which you should be accused of immediately. If you fail to accept this, you should be told what you politics are and, who you really should be, and should live in a box.

    I read your comments with interest, not having had the chance to hear the other side of the debate, to date.

  • diarmaid

    pippakin u have yet to give me a uk cultural activity Derry partakes in and that gives th city the right to claim UK city of culture!! just give me one activity!!!

    I also refer u to this Yes, “City of Culture – but we need jobs”

  • diarmaid

    Is culture about activities? If it is then the most violent and aggressive expressions of that culture have been on open display for the last forty years, and then some! Go see: ‘You are now entering free Derry’ and think what it refers to. Stand on the walls and look about you, what do you think the walls represent.

    Culture is not about things everyone likes and agrees on, arguably the opposite is true. It is more about the character, humour and artistry of creation arising out of everything people come into contact with and everything they overcome and/or embrace.

    Perhaps the ‘City of Culture’ award will be the swan song of the British in the north, but part of them will always be there, just as it is here in the south.

  • diarmaid

    on year later …

    btw pippakin sorry been busy! ha but my grip is that people dont see the cultural expressin in places like the no-go area. that they were necessayr is a fault of the state, and that they existed is a tribute to my parents generation.

    as with the walls – they relate to the seige of derry. this is something that is part of our irish culture! granted it features in british history too, but is our culture – the culture of this island. sooner people on this island recognise that yes we can have our culture – that recognises the green and orange, and that we are not split personalities that some try to be.

    anyway just wanetd to give u an update of how the city of culture is going – one would think considering the british developed the steam engine, and the uk took advantage of mass rail movement before most european countries, that this uk city of culture could be left without a rail link (or motorway) to our susposed regional capitol! but hey – we’ve got culture – who needs things like railways and jobs!

  • pippakin


    One year later. My goodness what bought this on! Been busy? been hibernating more like…

    Nothing much has changed so no big surprises there. I read the thread again and whilst I agree with you regarding jobs and transport, I haven’t changed my mind about it being a good opportunity. I think the scale of the financial disaster on both sides has tended to get in the way of optimism.

    Forgive me if I prefer to deal with things the way they are and not deny opportunity because they are not the way I want…