Londonderry’s bid for All-Ireland Fleadh in 2013 to go ahead

At the second tiime of asking, Londonderry branch delegates of Comhaltas have agreed to bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh during the UK City of Culture year by 13 votes to 1.  As the BBC report notes

Some Comhaltas members, who initially opposed the move because of the UK link in Derry’s City of Culture 2013 title, did not attend.

[Lost in traffic? – Ed]  Possibly…  Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson has launched her campaign “to neutralise the U.K. prefix…”  From the Derry Journal report

Sinn Féin Junior Minister, Martina Anderson, welcomed the outcome of the meeting.

“I hope that the bid now successfully proceeds through the remaining stages of the ratification procedures and we can look forward to staging what will be a spectacular display of Irish culture in our City in 2013,” she says.

[That would be the Northern Ireland Executive Junior Minister? – Ed]  Indeed.  The clue, after all, is in the name.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • I know I shouldn’t respond to obvious trolling, but as Baker is normally so pedantic about such things, it should be pointed out that there are no such thing as “Londonderry branch delegates of Comhaltas”.

  • Harry Flashman

    I too doubt whether such a thing exists, just as there is no Bishop of Londonderry or City of Londonderry Rugby Club, or indeed Apprentice Boys of Londonderry.

    There is a Londonderry Feis oddly enough though, it’s older than the Derry one too.

    Confused? Yup, it’s the way things are in Derry.

  • andnowwhat

    Couldn’t agree with you more Ullick, trolling it is.

    I saw this on Twitter last night. I’m guessing it was Martina Anderson posting as her face was the avatar and the tone of the tweets was bloody infantile in it’s naive excitement

  • “The clue, after all, is in the name.”

    It is indeed, Pete. Click on Comhaltas locations. Choose a province > Ireland – Ulster; choose a region > Derry; choose a branch > Derry City.

    I wonder if the dFM facilitated the outcome. The BBC (Foyle and West) seems to be on message: “Derry fleadh bid gets go-ahead”. The title refers to the region/county, not the city.

  • I may have slipped up – the Derry in the title probably refers to the city.

  • By the way BT Ireland, principal partner of Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013, gave the city some good news back in October: Derry outpaces all UK and Ireland cities to achieve fibre broadband milestone. BT seems to have danced fairly successfully around the various names; it’s been more sure-footed than our politicos!

  • cynic2

    “did not attend”

    Got lost because the signposts said ‘Londonderry’ not ‘Doire’?

  • cynic2

    Look guys I will let you in on a secret. We Prods all call it Derry too – when there are no Catholics around. My how we laugh!

  • pacman

    Is Derry the only bid for this? Shouldn’t Martina have been “hopeful of looking forward to staging….” or does she know something different?

  • HeinzGuderian

    The Londonderry Air,surely has to be the guide. (or should that be your conscience )

  • Nordie Northsider

    Given Comhaltas’ commitment to the Irish language, shouldn’t it be Doire? Or maybe they don’t want to get involved in the Christian Doire Cholm Cille / pagan Doire Chalgaigh controversy.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Is the objective of this post….

    a) To start a debate on the pros and cons of a particular city hosting a particular cultural event?

    b) A pathetic attempt by someone with no interest in the subject matter to use it to try and wind up the Taigs? .

    Perhaps Slugger will donate a prize for the correct answer or maybe just have a word.

  • JR

    I think it is great the Fleadh is going to Derry.

    Personally I wouldn’t have let the UK City of Culture thing put me off. I have enough confidence in what Derry is and where it is not to be bothered by anything like that.

  • @pacman

    There are two other bids and yes she is being very presumptuous to refer to “the ratification procedures” though given Labhrás has already set aside the normal application procedures for 2013, she probably does know something the rest of us and Comhaltas members don’t.

  • SK

    “Look guys I will let you in on a secret. We Prods all call it Derry too – when there are no Catholics around. My how we laugh!”

    I knew it!!!

  • Canny See It Sur

    I think the whole UK City of Culture thing should have been made irrelevant in terms of the bid. The All Ireland Fleadh is a big enough event in itself that it should just be seen as something that happens to be in the same place as the UK City of Culture 2013 and not because of it (or vice versa).

    The fact that some people have issue with UK in the title and seem to be making such a big fuss of it is farcical. The constant ‘jibes’ about the likes of Martina Anderson et al from hardcore armchair republicans and bar stool revolutionaries in and around Derry (and I guess from further afield) show nothing but ignorance about the potential the City of Culture offers the city. The question I always ask the dissenters is what alternative do they offer.

  • It seems the views I recently expressed on the various issues rhyme with those expressed by Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú back in August 2010:

    “This event belongs to everyone,” Senator O’Murchu said.

    “If it went north we would also be able to recognise and celebrate other cultures – the bodhran and the Lambeg drum should be able to sit well together.”

    Martin: Care for a dance, Peter?

    Peter: Sorry, Martin, some of us don’t approve of line-dancing and, anyway, I’ve got two-left feet.

    Martin: And you a Protestant!

    Guffaws all round

  • We must not let the name issue get in the way. And nobody should be annoyed.
    Obviously the right decision has been made by the Londonderry Branch of Comhaltas.
    Personally I dont know anyone in the Londonderry City Branch……..although I do know someone in a South Londonderry Branch ……..the Loup……or Ballinderry. Actually I suppose people in Ballinderry Branch of Comhaltas will actually be in the Ballinlondonderry Branch of Comhaltas.
    Anyway I can ask him on Sunday. He will be cheering Londonderry on in the Dr McKenna Cup match.. Of course I personally would never cheer for Londonderry ………on Sunday I will be cheering on the good folks of Downshire.

  • Dec

    ‘“Look guys I will let you in on a secret. We Prods all call it Derry too – when there are no Catholics around. My how we laugh!”’

    Hate to burst your balloon, Cynic but you sort of give the game away with things like Apprentice Boy’s of Derry, ‘derry’s walls’ etc.

  • socaire

    Better than that! All the entrance roads to Dún Geanainn proclaim proudly that the town is a winner of ‘Britain in Bloom’. Poetic licence?

  • Just poetic, socaire. ‘Britain’ and ‘UK’ have often been used interchangeably. For example, ‘Britain in the USA’ is now ‘UK in the USA’.

  • socaire

    That’s a poor example. Often used by whom? What about Team UK that is now Team GB?

  • “Often used by whom?”

    Government, socaire – and the example I gave was merely an illustration. Embassy email addresses have been mostly standardised in recent times to begin ukin[country] dot fco. For some reason or other the standard hasn’t been applied to ireland: britishembassyinireland dot fco.

    If you go to abebooks dot com and do a search with the phrase ‘official yearbook of the united kingdom’ you’ll find that ‘Britain’ was last used in 2001; after that the prefix is ‘UK’.

  • galloglaigh

    This is probably the reason for the two bombs in Derry tonight: One at the offices of Derry City Council, and the other at a Tourist Office. Two carefully thought out targets…

  • Pete Baker

    I would just point out, for the benefit of Ulick et al, that the contested phrase is not a title of a branch. It’s a description of the delegates.

    But you knew that…


    Lift your gaze, gentlemen!

  • cynic2

    Dear Lord. They blew up the Brew in Derry tonight. Is nothing sacred any-more?

  • cynic2

    ” All the entrance roads to Dún Geanainn proclaim proudly that the town is a winner of ‘Britain in Bloom’. Poetic licence?”

    While Derry is Britain in Boom?

  • Harry Flashman

    Jeez, cynic you’re on fire on this thread.

  • “[Lost in traffic? – Ed] Possibly…”

    Shouldn’t think so; probably stayed at home.

    Martina Anderson said: “I am delighted with the outcome of the Comhaltas meeting in Derry tonight where the proposal to proceed with the bid to host the 2013 all-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil na h-Éireann in Derry was ratified by those attending the meeting. “I hope that the bid now successfully proceeds through the remaining stages of the ratification procedures and we can look forward to staging what will be a spectacular display of Irish culture in our City in 2013. “I want to congratulate all of those who worked so hard to bring the bid to this juncture and wish them success in the final stages. I know that Derry will do them proud when we stage the Fleadh in 2013. CRÍOCH

    Has Martina been ‘neutralised’? The tone of the new statement is very different from the one released on January 5.

    It’s a shame that the Fleadh has got mired in this controversy; let’s hope the feathers can be unruffled ASAP.

    There’s a stream running through Mosside in North Antrim which, for part of its journey, is known locally as the Lubach Burn. Presumably the ‘place of loops’ or meandering is related to The Loup/An Lúb in south Derry, one of the places that could have been represented last night. See Comhaltas locations link further up.

  • changeisneeded

    Pete Baker attacking anything remotely Irish in Ireland. What’s new on slugger?
    Mick when are you going to change the record? Mr Bakers tune seems stuck on the same grove.

  • I found it rather bemusing how any Irish Republican with more than two brain cells to knock together could deny that the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann coming to Londonderry could be anything other than a good thing – talk about not seeing the wood for the trees(!).

  • “BT seems to have danced fairly successfully around the various names; it’s been more sure-footed than our politicos!” .. myself above

    Pete, can I suggest you ‘lift your gaze’ and take a leaf out of BT’s PR book? [BT’s local customer service and management structure is rubbish; it makes NI Water look good :(] The naming thingy is more of a problem for the politicos than for local people; it’s a manifestation of the tug-of-war constitutional question.

    You have excellent archival skills but a red mist seems to descend any time SF appears on the horizon. The ‘big boots’ approach only puts folks backs up; give Labhrás Ó Murchú and others a little bit of space to deal with these ‘sensitivities’.

    A more subtle approach can pay dividends; there are times when I don’t give SF an easy ride but this story shows that I can have quite a good working relationship with some of their people.

  • “I found it rather bemusing”

    Barry, as I noted in my last reply, it’s a red mist thingy; sensitive issues get magnified out of all proportion.

    Have a look at those tags. Why is ‘Derry’ missing? Why is ‘Sinn Féin’ in lower case? Why is the offensive use of medical or mental conditions considered acceptable?

  • Some background about yesterday’s Fleadh decision:

    The first, held two weeks ago, ended in deadlock when delegates from south Derry branches of Comhaltas objected to the plans because of the ‘UK’ title of the City of Culture celebrations.

    Delegates from four branches opposed to the plans did not attend Wednesday night’s meeting and the motion to support the bid was carried by 13 votes to one. Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, the chairperson of Comhaltas Dhoire, the city branch, said the support for the bid shows the strength of Derry’s application. ..

    Mrs Ní Dhochartaigh said she hopes the bid will now receive the support of Comhlatas’ Ulster Council and Ard Comhairle.

    “We are up against stiff competition from a number of other regions for the title but we believe that we have put together the best case possible for Derry,” she said. Derry Journal

    and a little bit more for 2013 in today’s DJ:

    One of the biggest events in the GAA calendar is to return to Derry next year as part of the City of Culture celebrations.

    Féile Peile na nÓg, a four-day all-Ireland football championship for Under-14s, will bring in tens of thousands of visitors to the city and county from all over the island and beyond.

    From a tourism perspective, the Feile is expected to generate more than 10,000 overnight stays in the region and will accrue more than £2 million for the local economy.

    The Feile was first staged in the city in 2010 when it was acclaimed as “one of the most successful showcasings” of the event. The decision by the National Feile Committee to allow Derry to host it for a second time in three years is regarded as a unique honour. .. Derry Journal

  • between the bridges

    The signs are going to be fecking huge…

    You Are Now Entering Free Derry, Londonderry, Doire, UK City Of All-Ireland Fleadh 2013

    repeat as gealic

    copyd intea scot

  • Pete Baker

    “You have excellent archival skills but a red mist seems to descend any time SF appears on the horizon.”


    Mind-reading doesn’t work.

    As you have just demonstrated.

    “Have a look at those tags. Why is ‘Derry’ missing? Why is ‘Sinn Féin’ in lower case? Why is the offensive use of medical or mental conditions considered acceptable?”

    Oh dear…


    Here’s the deal. You don’t tell me what I can and cannot say in my posts. And the tags are a completely different issue.

    And I’ll not tell you where you’re going wrong.

  • changeisneeded

    Man Pete, your would argue a black crow white.
    Take a step back dude and look at your post history , your a man with a serious bit of spite about you..

  • Pete Baker

    “Take a step back dude and look at your post history”

    If only you would.

  • changeisneeded

    So I can expect another anti SF, anti irish, anti republican post out of you tomorrow again. Go on surprise me and lose the log you have on your shoulder.
    Your as bitter as the weather..

  • Mac

    “If only you would.”

    Try as we might, how could we forget your ‘deeply regretted’ post.
    Credit where credit is due, troll posts do increase site traffic, and pay per impression does work out better in the long term than the pay per click model.
    Perhaps some of the advertising revenue could be spent on teaching Quincy the difference between a car bomb and an explosive vest?

  • “Here’s the deal.”

    Don’t worry, Pete, I didn’t expect a miracle.

    Sadly, Derry has lost out; the national Fleadh will be going elsewhere:

    An Irish traditional music body has said it turned down Londonderry’s bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh next year because of the threat posed by dissident republicans.

    Comhaltas said it was impossible to support the application because safety was paramount.

    It followed a vote by members of its Ulster Council. BBC source

    Will this decision put the Féile Peile na nÓg during Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 in jeopardy?

  • sliabhluachra

    Comhaltas has rejected the bid to have the Fleadh in Derry. Martna Anderson, who should apologise for putting the lives of Irish traditional musicians at risk, will have to find her UK culture somewhere else.
    Still, though the field is lost, all is not lost. Herself and Martin McG could take out the banjo and bodhran and give it a belt on the tenfth.

  • cynic2

    Poor Derry.

    Perhaps it could ask Orangefest to relocate for a year and make up the numbers. As Martina is SF outreach officer it would be a great gesture

  • From Facebook site:

    “Statement from Comhaltas Dhoire….

    Comhaltas Dhoire are very disappointed to learn that the Ulster Council of Comhaltas have rejected Derry’s bid to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. This decision was reached by a majority but not all of the members present. We understand that it was based on the perceived threat from dissident republicans to families and visitors celebrating Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Derry.

    Comhaltas Dhoire believe this decision is a mistake and plays into the hands of those who want to hold back any efforts to bring opportunity to our city and region. Derry’s bid for the Fleadh has been acknowledged as being one of the best packages ever presented to Comhaltas and yet we have been denied our right to celebrate our Irish culture.

    We will be appealing the decision to ensure the voices of everyone who sees the value in celebrating Irish culture and those who support our bid is heard.

    Please show your support for our bid on this page

    Martin will not be best pleased ..

  • JR

    This is a real loss for Derry. There is no way The dissidents were going to attack the Fleadh. Attacking some fiddle and Banjo players from Clare and Kerry would be like attacking the crowd at a GAA match.

    I suspect the fleadh organisers know this but are afraid of the crowds voting with their feet and staying away.

  • All is not yet lost, JR; Labhrás Ó Murchú seems keen that it should take place in Derry and I’d think there’ll be a lot of lobbying behind the scenes to get the Ulster decision overturned.