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Warship in Belfast for maritime event

A Royal Navy warship is helping Belfast celebrate its Maritime Festival this weekend.

The HMS Monmouth will be in the city for a three-day visit. It will be met by new Lord Mayor Pat Convery.

He said the city was delighted to be affiliated with another naval vessel, HMS Duncan, due to be unveiled later this year.

"The formal link with HMS Duncan will allow Belfast a platform to promote the city at home and abroad, and we look forward to working with the Royal Navy to maximise these opportunities," he said.

"We are also pleased that HMS Duncan will be calling into the Port of Belfast on a regular basis, with the economic benefits this will bring to the city.

"This continued connection with the Royal Navy, and the maritime community in general, also will prove hugely beneficial as Belfast prepares to bid for the return of the Tall Ships event in 2015."

At a ceremony on Friday, on the bridge of Monmouth, the affiliation invitation for the Duncan, a Type 45 destroyer, will be confirmed and accepted.

Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster, Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland, will join the Lord Mayor on board.

"Belfast is a progressive, vibrant and modern city, steeped in maritime history and with eyes firmly fixed on the future," the naval officer said.

"And it seems to me that this rather mirrors the synergy of the Royal Navy and the Type 45 destroyers. We are delighted to be able to form this strong connection with Belfast and grateful that the city council has accepted the invitation to be affiliated with HMS Duncan. I'm sure the bond will be a long and fruitful one."

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