Tánaiste gets a warm welcome at
DERRY'S quayside came
alive at the weekend as the Foyle Maritime Festival
opened for business, with a special visit from the Tánaiste and Irish Minister for
Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District,
Councillor John Boyle, escorted Mr Coveney as he
went on a walkabout chatting to local people and
enjoying some of the local fayre.
The visit took place following a special meeting
with the Unity of Purpose Group, made up of local
political and community leaders and statutory
agencies, who met on Saturday morning to discuss
ongoing issues in the Bogside area in the past week.
During the meeting the Tánaiste pledged his firm
support for the work of the group and condemned the
ongoing violence and anti-social behaviour which has
dominated the news in recent days.
The Tánaiste on board a Clipper Race
yacht where he met with local skipper Conall
Morrison and his crew.
Speaking after the visit, Cllr Boyle said "I was
delighted to welcome the Tánaiste to the city today.
I welcome what was a significant gesture on behalf
of the Irish Government in lending support to the
work of the Unity of Purpose group.
"Mr Coveney told me he always loves visiting Derry
and today gave him the chance to see the city at its
very best. I want to thank him for his time today
and for showing his support for achieving positive
change here in the North West."
Four year old Ava O'Donnell joined
Mayor of Derry and Strabane Councillor John Boyle in
welcoming the Tanaiste, Simon Coveney TD, to the
city on his visit to the Foyle Maritime Festival at
The Tánaiste said he
wanted to show his solidarity with local leaders
against violence and help shine a spotlight on the
positive work being done to promote the city.
Following his visit to the Festival the Tánaiste
said: "I was delighted to have the opportunity to
visit the city today and to enjoy the festivities
down along the quay for the Foyle Maritime Festival.
This is the real Derry – the riverfront is buzzing
with people and there is a great atmosphere with the
Clipper Race fleet and great food, family fun and
huge crowds. I would really recommend a visit!"
Thousands flocked for the opening day of the
festival, which runs from July 14-22, and there was
a festive atmosphere following what was a quieter
night in the trouble hotspots which have emerged in
recent days. The Tánaiste met with local children
enjoying the family friendly activities before
boarding one of the Clipper Race yachts where he met
with local skipper Conall Morrison and his crew. He
also enjoyed some of the hospitality along the
quayside which is playing host to Maritime Markets
and a Seafood Kitchen throughout the Festival.