Londonderry to host All-Ireland Fleadh in UK City of Culture year

After the application of some internal, and external, pressure the Ulster Council of Comhaltas reversed their earlier decision in time for the organisation’s central executive to select Londonderry to host their All-Ireland Fleadh during the UK City of Culture year in 2013.  In the event, the only other candidate was Sligo…  [Adds – Apparently Ennis withdrew their bid “for the greater good”.]

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the launch of a £1million Big Lottery fund for UK City of Culture celebrations, there has been some unseemly bickering between councillors in Londonderry and the Culture Company 2013 Ltd – an “independent company (limited by guarantee) formed to manage and deliver the UK City of Culture 2013 programme”.  From the BBC report

[Chair of Culture Company 2013 Board] Mr [Martin] Bradley said the organisation was being “choked by red tape” and it wanted to get on with planning the programme for 2013.

“The Culture Company team have been working night and day to engage with the city community and the arts world as a whole,” he said.

“And a whole series of other announcements will be made within the coming months – including our complete draft programme of events in April and the full programme in September.

“In spite of this we find that we have been subject to intense petty criticism this week, all of it erroneous, misdirected and unjustified.

The amount of time we have wasted addressing completely inaccurate comments about branding and alleged snubs to city stakeholders has been extraordinary.” [added emphasis]

[Would those “comments about branding” relate to the U.K. prefix? – Ed]  Possibly…

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  • maggiedoot

    The fleadh will blend in with the UK city of culture.

  • changeisneeded

    Certain to be the lamest Fleadh ever to be held despite all the British money that has been thrown at it..
    SF just lost a lota votes..

  • Meanwhile, Peter Robinson is attending a GAA match this evening. Good progress towards building an inclusive society alongside Derry’s acceptance that it is, for now, a part of the UK.

  • Eddie (Eamonn) Mac Bhloscaidh

    I think that it is great that the UK have finally accepted Irish Gaelic culture as part of the ‘UK’ culture.

    Fair play to them for getting over themselves and for accepting that other cultures exist – fair play to them.

    Will ‘British’ people in Ulster now be able to go along with this or will unionists ‘British’ culture war continue…

    … despite the fact that his values clearly fly in the face of modern British value.

  • Great news for Derry – hope to get to it myself!

  • ForkHandles

    Isn’t it about time that people got over the need to be anti british? There is no difference in Irshness betweeen NI and the ROI. The only reason that people object to being included in the UK City of Culture is because of some stupid need to be anti to define themselves as Irish. It really is an embarassment for any normal person in the 21st C.
    Most younger people i know in the ROI dont have this daft mentality. Can’t the older people just get over it?

  • changeisneeded

    Most younger people you know in the ROI don’t live in Derry.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds – Apparently Ennis withdrew their bid “for the greater good”.

  • GavBelfast

    “Apparently Ennis withdrew their bid “for the greater good””

    For whom? Would it be that bad a place for people to go to?


  • Limerick

    Adds – Apparently Ennis withdrew their bid “for the greater good”.

    I wonder who might have made the suggestion to them that they do that?

  • Limerick

    I think that it is great that the UK have finally accepted Irish Gaelic culture as part of the ‘UK’ culture.

    Isn’t it also great that Irish ‘republicans’ are tripping over themselves to promote an ‘Irish’ city as the UK City of Culture?

  • Alias

    Yup, and acting “for the greater good” of Her Majesty’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. The BBC estimated that the UK will gain 40 millions euros that would otherwise have boosted the local economy of Sligo or Ennis, and the wider Irish economy. So here is a clear example of where this ‘All-Ireland’ brainwashing has cost the Irish state 40 million euros. Yet such idiocy is to be celebrated, apparently…

  • weidm7

    Patriotism doesn’t stop at the border, if people are truly about helping Irish businesses, then they’ll help those north of the border as well, it is a blow to the Republic’s exchequer, but not to Ireland or the Irish.

  • braveheart

    I am sure a lot of people will be boycotting it. I totally support the Fleadh going to Derry, just not the city of culture year.

  • “The amount of time we have wasted addressing completely inaccurate comments about branding”

    Branding has been left to the chosen city:

    The winning city will be provided with the title of UK City of Culture for their year, and given rights to the UK City of Culture brand, with scope to tailor it to their own city if desired. ..

    Bids will be assessed in terms of the ability of the proposed City of Culture programme to make a step change in that city. Culture will not be narrowly defined but bidding cities will be asked to spell out their own vision for City of Culture and how they will use that in making a step change. ..

    The location that is bidding should have a clear identity for visitors: a city and its hinterland, or a closely linked set of urban areas. .. Ben Bradshaw, July 2009

  • It’s encouraging to see that Martina and Pete and Comhaltas aren’t the only ones ‘troubled’ by branding.

    BT, ‘a global provider of communications solutions and IT services’, is the lead sponsor so you might expect it to carry the official logo. However, the logo only seems to have been added to the BT in Northern Ireland site.

    BT operates across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as an all island operation, headquartered in Belfast and Dublin, and employing close to 3,000 people. .. BT in Ireland

    There’s no logo on the island of Ireland website. The BT dot com site, the UK billing and customer service operation, carries the London 2012 logo but not the Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 one. Perhaps Martin Bradley should encourage BT to promote the city globally. After all, Derry along with Moville was an important point of departure for emigrants to North America and arrival for US forces in WW II as well a key location in the Battle of the Atlantic.

  • son of sam

    If one relied solely on the mainstream media,one could be forgiven for thinking that Martina Anderson was mainly responsible for bringing the Fleadh to Derry.The reality as always is slightly different.A broad range of people, including Comhaltas members from Derry,Mark Durkan M P and indeed Ch Supt Stephen Martin were equally responsible for lobbying to make the final decision possible.The difference is of course that many of these do not seek publicity in the same frantic way that M/s Anderson does.Others also stand up for Derry and it is perhaps time that this was acknowledged.

  • OneNI

    Great to see the Fleadh coming north. It is a shame the North has effectively been boycotted for over 50 years by those who wish to promote traditional gaelic culture.
    Great that they, like nationalist political leaders in the North, increasingly realise that it is perfectly okay to celebrate the gaelic tradition of Ireland within the context of the United Kingdom.
    Likewise celebrating Londonderry’s position as UK City of culture is a great sign of maturity

  • MrPMartin

    How I would love the Portadown News to return!!
    “First Fleadh in Britain” would be a possible headline to rival the seminal ‘First All British All Ireland Final’ when Armagh played Tyrone in the Sam Maguire a few years ago.

    Those of us who consider ourselves British who also consider ourselves Irish have no problem with this. It’s a great piece of news and I hope its celebrated and advertised in an inclusive manner that does not threaten any section of society.

  • ““First Fleadh in Britain” would be a possible headline”

    PM, here’s a link to an All Britain fleadh.

  • MrPMartin

    Nevin, I never let facts get in the way of a cheap joke

  • PM, I’ve just taken a closer look at that Johnny Doherty CCE website. The position of chaplin has gone and the committee now contains a public relations officer. I wonder how Slugger and CCE folks view such a change. Have similar changes taken place here?