SDLP councillor Séamas de Faoite has expressed his disappointment after Belfast missed out on being shortlisted as a host city for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.
Councillor de Faoite thanked everyone who supported the bid to bring the event to Belfast, including fellow councillors and council officers.
He said Belfast remained a city capable of hosting major events and has much to be proud of.
Councillor de Faoite said:
“While we are naturally disappointed that Belfast failed to be shortlisted as a host city for next year’s Eurovision I am proud of the all the work that went into making this bid a reality, particularly the cross-party element which showed what we can achieve when we work together to make our city a better place for everyone who lives here.
“We were not successful on this occasion, but Belfast remains a city capable of hosting large scale events as we have proved repeatedly in the past with everything from music festivals to award shows and conferences. Next year Belfast will play host to the One Young World summit that will attract thousands of young people to our city and we’re also hoping to attract the All Ireland Fleadh which brings a real carnival atmosphere wherever it goes.
“Unfortunately our bid was hampered, like many things in the North, by the lack of functioning Executive to lead the way and lobby on our behalf. We are blessed with great people, we have the talent and vision, but if we are ever going to address the issues around a lack of space, our infrastructure and maximise the potential of our nighttime economy to enable us to attract major events like Eurovision then we need an Executive up and running to deliver on these issues.”