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Van gigs showed how wonderful NI can really be

Published 15/09/2015

Thank you for showing off Belfast and Northern Ireland at its best to a large group of local and international visitors who came to celebrate Van Morrison's 70th birthday on August 31 in Cyprus Avenue.

The warm welcome we received all over the province proved once again that you all live in one of the finest tourist destinations in the world.

Many of the visitors stayed for 12 days or more to catch other Van Morrison concerts at Slieve Donard Hotel and other performing artists for the Eastside Arts Festival. That organisation, and in particular Maurice Kinkead, its CEO, and the residents of Cyprus Avenue, have done more to enhance Northern Ireland's reputation internationally than they can possibly imagine.

You should all be very proud of the occasion and your legendary performer, Sir George Ivan Morrison, the catalyst for the event and perhaps the finest cultural ambassador Northern Ireland has ever produced. Thank you one and all.

Brian Heffler

Connecticut, USA

Belfast Telegraph

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