Derry wins bid to host the All-Ireland fleadh

People playing instruments
Image caption The fleadh will coincide with Derry's year as UK City of Culture

Londonderry has won its bid to host the All-Ireland Fleadh in 2013.

Members of the central executive of traditional Irish music body Comhaltas met in Dublin to decide the venue on Saturday.

Sligo was also in the running to host the fleadh. Ennis had withdrawn its bid.

The festival attracts up to 300,000 visitors and is worth about 40m euros to the host venue.

Comhaltas promotes traditional Irish music and culture around the world.

Derry, which will be UK City of Culture 2013, was a late confirmation on the shortlist after the Ulster Council of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann reversed its decision not to support the bid.

It had withdrawn its backing after two bombs exploded in the city last week.

BBC Northern Ireland's Dublin reporter Jennifer O'Leary said that the decision, taken by 30 executive members in a secret ballot, was greeted by cheering at the Comhaltas headquarters in south county Dublin.

First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness have welcomed the decision.

Mr Robinson said: "This is a vote of confidence in Londonderry and it will generate significant cultural and economic benefit to the city and surrounding areas."

Mr McGuinness said: "There have been one or two hurdles along the way but that is behind us and now is the time for everyone to work together to ensure that this is a fleadh which will live long in the memory."

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