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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 28 February 2021

Derry's bid for the Fleadh denied over threat of bomb attacks

The city’s bid to bring Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann to the North for the first time next year has failed.

Dancing at the Fleadh which was held in Co Cavan last year
Dancing at the Fleadh which was held in Co Cavan last year
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

DERRY’S BID TO host the All Ireland Fleadh or Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann has failed after the Ulster Council said the threat of bomb attacks in the city was too great.

The annual festival of Irish music, song and dance has never been held in Northern Ireland but the Derry branch of the Irish cultural group Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann was working to bring the event to the city next year as part of its year as the UK Capital of Culture.

However in a statement released through its Twitter account last night the ‘bringthefleah2derry’ campaign said it had been notified that its bid had been rejected by the Ulster Council.

“Bid is rejected over perceieved security concerns. Local branch plan to appeal decision,” a tweet read.

BBC News reports that the Ulster Council had decided to turn the bid down with “deep regret and long consideration”.

According to UTV, it was believed that the all-Ireland 10-day event could have brought up to 300,000 visitors to the city and generated as much as £40m (€48m) in revenue.

Eibhlín Ní Doherty, chair of the Derry County Board of Comhaltas, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that she was disappointed to hear of the news.

“I’m sure the people of Derry are mightily disappointed as well,” she said.

Two bombs exploded in Derry city centre on Thursday night causing severe disruption and the evacuation of residents along two roads.

Condemnation for ‘cowardly and callous’ bomb explosions in Derry

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Hugh O'Connell

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