Derry in Irish city of culture bid

Councillors said it would build on the legacy of Derry's "momentous" year as UK City of Culture.

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Councillors in Londonderry have backed a bid to become the Irish City of Culture in five years' time.

The motion was proposed by Sinn Féin councillor Barney O'Hagan, who said it would build on the legacy of Derry's "momentous" year as UK City of Culture.

It passed with cross-party support, after an amendment by the DUP's Maurice Devenny that politics played no part in the bid and all communities would be included.

The Irish government said it had no plans at the moment to run the initiative on an all-island basis.

The Republic of Ireland's Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said Northern Ireland had access to its own city of culture programme.

Limerick will be the first Irish City of Culture next year, and it is expected that it will run every four years.

Derry City councillors agreed on Tuesday to seek an "urgent meeting" with the Stormont culture minister Carál Ní Chuilín to discuss the logistics of their bid.

Mr O'Hagan told his council colleagues that Derry's year as UK city of culture had been "a great unifier", and its legacy plans were taking shape.

"Ireland will host the European Capital of Culture in 2020, and a public call for applications from interested cities will be made over the coming months," he said.

"A Derry bid for Irish City of Culture should be our stepping stone to the next prize."

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