Derry Fleadh bid fails

Ah well. The Fleadh isn’t coming to Derry in 2013.

The sound of the pipes, the fiddle, the bodhrán and our other traditional instruments won’t be filling the Derry air as hosts of our fellow Irish men and women and instead there will be the banshee wail of “ideology.”

And all because of two little letters. U and K.

Okay, I understand the semiology of those two little letters and I am au fait with the concept of hegemony, but I believed that bringing the All-Ireland Fleadh coming to Derry (what about that for semiology?) would subvert the whole notion of the city being a UK city.

No music please. We're Irish.

With Scotland’s possible independence, the UK could be on the verge of crumbling and the original United Kingdom was of course between England and Scotland in 1707.

The thoughts of thousands of traditional music and Irish language fans thronging the streets of Derry in an atmosphere of celebration, bonhomie, fun and whatever you’re having yourself, would reclaim (or rather, re-enforce and re-invigorate) Derry’s Irishness.

I know lots of kids and older people who couldn’t wait for the Fleadh but these people haven’t a political bone in their body. They do love their music, their heritage and the chance to celebrate it in 2013 has them filled with huge excitement and pride. The fact that the proposed Fleadh will be part of a year-long celebration with a UK moniker means little to most trad fans.

What satisfaction will the people who were railing against the All-Ireland Fleadh have, now that the application has been rejected?

Will they raise a glass tonight to celebrate the fact that Derry will be silent while the fun will be somewhere else. That the pubs and hotels will be empty, that new friends won’t me made, that Derry’s economy won’t get a boost and God knows it needs one.

“A pint of ideology please, and have one yourself.”

I’ve heard that there’s possibly going to be a quick appeal against abuse of process as last week the entire Ulster Council indicated strongly they’d support Derry’s bid, but the officer board voted against it 7-4 today on security grounds.

The Comhaltas Ardchomhairle must have a proposal (i.e notice that the Ulster Council are backing Derry) by Wednesday evening so it’s time for those who support the bid to lobby intensively for a rethink and for those opposed to it to have a rethink.

Didn’t Bobby Sands say that “our revenge will be the laughter of our children.”

Now “republicans”are giving their children a slap in the face.

You may also like...

  • http://www.facebook.com/bringthefleadhtoderry Anne-Marie Gallagher

    This sums it up perfectly Robert. Words honestly escape me tonight. Derry deserves this, the North deserves it and the traditional music community who kept things going through the worst of times deserve it. This is not just about Derry anymore. This is a message being sent to the 32 counties of Ireland and the rest of the world that you cant be safe visiting here and that we are somehow not good enough to host the biggest Irish cultural celebration in the world. We are and we must work together to change this decision around.

  • Donncha

    Maith thú a chara.  Tá an ceart ar fad agat.

  • Derrydoire

    I agree it is a pity that its ended up like this, and talking about slaps in the face..you need to think about the many hundreds of people in this city that has suffered at the hands of the british ..did they not get a big slap in the face when minority of city elitist put in the bid for Derry to be the UNITED KINGDOM city of culture

    • http://twitter.com/iriseoir Robert McMillen

      Not for a millisecond would I dismiss what Derry or anywhere else has suffered at the hands of the British. The response, I believe, should be to cherish and cultivate our own culture, to build self-confidence in ourselves, inside and.or outside the political arena.I can’t comment on the “minority of city elitist” but think of the 10-year olds learning the fiddle or the whistle or singing a song in English or Irish. and what it’ll mean for them. By the time they grow up, the term United Kingdom will (hopefully) be put into the dustbin of history.

      • seamus60

        Those kids will have the added benefit of travelling to an Irish town to play. One not filled with brits in for all the (other events).
        As for hotels etc being empty, is the Irish traditional aspect all that was to be happening.
        Not much forethought from those who lodged the application in the first place.

        • Pobalnaheireann

          Correct me if I’m wrong here but I’m fairly sure that Derry was, is and always will be an Irish town. Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann is an All Ireland Fleadh ( no mention anywhere of UK) and the prospect of hosting it in Derry was an acknowledgement of that.  40 years ago this month people   were massacred, by the establishment,in the streets of Derry . |Their “crime”   asking for the right to be treated the same as UK citizens, now the establishment recognises their Irishness and wished to pay tribute to it.  All right minded people would call that progress, a progress unimaginable  40 years ago. The only benefit kids will gain from this is to know that some socalled adults never grow up

  • Pobal Na hEireann

    Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann is an organisation dedicated to fostering , preserving and promoting  Traditional Irish Music,  Traditional Song  Traditional Dance and our Native  Language.    Unfortunately the  history of our Nation is  littered with instances betrayal by our own. Whilst that treachery, in view of it’s frequency, may  well be considered to be a “tradition”, it is not one covered by Comhaltas’ Constitution. The Officers of the Ulster Council who voted against Derry for Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2013, should reconsider ,  reverse their decision, then resign……..  

  • http://twitter.com/iriseoir Robert McMillen

    Not for a millisecond would I dismiss what Derry or anywhere else has suffered at the hands of the British. The response, I believe, should be to cherish and cultivate our own culture, to build self-confidence in ourselves, inside and.or outside the political arena.
    I can’t comment on the “minority of city elitist” but think of the 10-year olds learning the fiddle or the whistle or singing a song in English or Irish. and what it’ll mean for them. By the time they grow up, the term United Kingdom will (hopefully) be put into the dustbin of history.

  • Hans

    I feel much pity for the people of Derry who are not able to organize a great music festival like the Fleadh.
    Also I am a critical on the news. I don’t believe too easy that everything the newspapers bring as true. Couldn’t it be possible to call it like an “inside job” ? Just because Derry is going too “Irish” for some people ?

  • Eoghan

    The baby has just been thrown out with the bath water.

    • Poballnaheireann

      Eoghan, I think it was abused first ,then choked and then thrown out

      • Eoghan

        Is this not an opportunity to rise above and move on from many of the dreadful things that have happened in the past and demonstrate to the world how confident we now are as a nation? Or do we want to subscribe – yet again – to the ‘divide and conquer’ approach that has put – and kept us – in the position we are in?

  • buzzer

    I have 3 things to say on this 1. I feel that Comhaltas have always been quite a partitionist organisation and merely pay lip service to the 32 county idea and therefore favour any revenue gained from the Fleadh going to the 6 counties. 2. It is way past the time when they can use violence or the threat of it as a reason to stop what should be a right, we have since the formation of Comhaltas supported the fleadhanna and its time for them to support us.
    and 3. Can a call not go out to the dissidents to lift any threat- In the interest of Irish culture, surely that’s what they are supposed to believe in?

  • Nixon John

    hope you can mention our burns night  tuesday 24th  music of ireland scotland and the isles 
    haggis and neeps served   a grand nights craic  piping in the haggis    10pm  station bar  lwr english street armagh city
    BURNS NIGHT IN IRELAND’S OLDEST CITY!