Derry gears up to welcome year as UK City of Culture

Thousands of people will line the River Foyle tonight as Derry celebrates the beginning of its status as UK City of Culture with Ireland's biggest ever fireworks display.

The family event begins at 730pm with a pyrotechnic and fireworks display due to commence at 813pm.

Marketing Officer with Derry City Council, Jacqueline Whorisky said tonight's event will be a family occasion....

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/jacq8301.mp3[/podcast]

Meanwhile, The Gathering will officially kick off tonight with a New Year's Eve festival in Dublin.

Thousands of people are expected for the Countdown Concert and fireworks display which will mark the start of a year of events aimed at encouraging tourists to visit Ireland.

70 international journalists have arrived in Dublin to cover the event.

And Ciara Sugrue of Fáilte Ireland said that journalists will be mixing with Gathering organisers to tell them about the 1,500 events already organised for the year:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/jacq8301.mp3[/podcast]