Belfast Telegraph

Police chief's praise for peaceful Clipper Festival

By Brendan McDaid

There was not a single arrest at Londonderry's largest ever festival, it has emerged.

The Clipper Homecoming Festival saw hundreds of thousands of local people and visitors mingling over the past two weeks.

Police yesterday confirmed that despite the record crowds there were no public disorder incidents that resulted in arrests.

Meanwhile, the chairwoman of Derry's Development Committee Brenda Stevenson said the festival had been a “real game changer for our city”.

Speaking at this week’s meeting of the committee, Ms Stevenson congratulated council staff who had “bent over backwards” to make the festival a success.

“The positivity, the mood of the city, the upbeat spirit, even the rain couldn’t dampen it,” she said.

“It was a real step up.

“There was not one arrest during the event.

“The biggest thank you must go to the people of Derry and the region — those people who came out in their droves attended the event with pride and dignity and really showed Derry in its best light. They really did us all proud.

“We want to open up our city to the world and encourage people to make a date with Derry and find out all that is happening in the lead up to City of Culture.

“We have Halloween, the 21 days of Christmas markets and from midnight on New Year we will be kicking off City of Culture.”

Her comments were unanimously echoed by other parties.

Sinn Fein Councillor Elisha McCallion said: “If this was an example of what’s to come in 2013 it is certainly going to be exciting.

“It has been a game changer for this city and I hope it sets an example for everything to come.”

DUP Councillor April Garfield-Kidd said the positive vibe running through the city over the past few weeks has “laid a real foundation and a building block for the future”.

A PSNI spokeswoman in Derry confirmed yesterday: “There were no arrests in relation to disorder in relation to the Clipper Festival.

“There were other arrests but they were not associated with the festival.”

PSNI District Commander chief superintendent Stephen Martin said: “The people of this city should be very proud as they were outstanding hosts to the crews of all the visiting boats.

“This was an international event and Derry has proven beyond any doubt that it can deliver a world-class festival.

“This was another auspicious occasion for Derry following on from the Olympic Torch Run and Peace One Day concert and certainly proves this city is more than ready to welcome the City of Culture next year and many other major events.”

Belfast Telegraph


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