Derry’s Fleadh bid failure blamed on dissident republicans

The threat posed by dissident republicans has bee given as the reason for Comhaltas to turn down Derry's bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh next year.

Following a vote by members of its Ulster Council at the weekend Comhaltas said it was impossible to support the application because safety was paramount.

Two bombs exploded in Derry city on Friday causing severe disruption.

The organisers behind the UK City of Culture had been pushing to bring the fleadh north for the first time.

The Ulster Council said it was with "deep regret and long consideration" that it had turned down the bid.

Last week, a meeting of Derry Comhaltas delegates on Wednesday night was 13-1 in favour of the bid -the bid then went to the Comhaltas Ulster Council to be ratified.

The fleadh attracts 25,000 people.

In a statement this morning Comhaltas Dhoire said the decision is a mistake and plays into the hands of those who want to hold back any efforts to bring opportunity to the city and region.

The group added that it will be appealing the decision to ensure the voices of everyone who sees the value in celebrating Irish culture and those who support our bid is heard.