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U-turn on Derry's All-Ireland Fleadh bid welcomed

The Ulster Council of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Éireann has reversed its decision to turn down the bid over security concerns.

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

THE CITY OF Derry is back in the running to host the All Ireland Fleadh or Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann after the Ulster Council of Comhaltas reversed its decision to turned down its bid over security concerns.

A campaign had been launched to bring the annual festival of Irish music, song, and dance to Northern Ireland for the first time ever next year but the Ulster Council rejected the bid over security concerns after two bombs had gone off in the city over a week ago.

But now the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland have welcomed the decision to allow Derry to go forward as a contender to the meeting of the Council’s Ard Comhairle in Dublin on Saturday where a final decision will be made, UTV reports.

Peter Robinson, the DUP leader, said “that common sense had prevailed”  after the decision was reversed earlier this week. It is estimated that the all-Ireland 10-day event could bring as many as 300,000 visitors to the city and generate as much as £40m (€48m) in revenue.

Comhaltas in Ireland director general and one-time Irish presidential hopeful Labhras  Ó Murchú told BBC Radio that it was impossible to call which way the vote would go.

But he added: ”Because this issue has been so well debated there isn’t a member on the council who hasn’t a greater understanding of the issues involved in the Derry bid.”

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

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Hugh O'Connell

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