Sinn Féin Councillor, Barney O’Hagan has welcomed the support of Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín for Derry City Council’s intention to bid for Irish City of Culture.
Councillor O’Hagan speaking after meeting the Minister as part of a delegation on Monday consisting of Derry City Council (DCC) officials, Councillors, business and cross- community sectors said:
“I welcome the progress being made on the preparation of the bid for Irish City of Culture and European Capital of Culture. The meeting with the Culture Minister yesterday to lobby her support and influence for the bid was further evidence of DCC’s seriousness about this project.
“Minister Ní Chuilín pledged her full support for the Derry proposal and will now seek a formal meeting with her Dublin counterpart Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD to urge him to give favourable consideration to Derry’s application.
“I believe that it is imperative that we capitalise on our 2013 City of Culture experience while the positive impression which Derry created throughout the country and internationally is still fresh in the minds of people by progressing this bid without delay.
“I believe that now is the opportune time for Derry to put together a serious bid to be the next ‘Irish City of Culture’. DCC officials are now in the process of presenting our proposals and identifying how best they can be delivered.
“I welcome support from across the City for this initiative in light of the tremendously successful year of Culture representing every section of the community that we in this great City produced throughout 2013.
“The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltach in Dublin, Jimmy Deenihan TD has indicated in the recent past that he is open to receiving an application from Derry. I have no doubt that when our Culture Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín expresses her endorsement that it will reinforce the case for Derry as the next Irish City of Culture.“ CRÍOCH/END