Maurice Hayes: Derry -- by any name -- is a city with a culture to flaunt
DERRY, Derry/Londonderry, Londonderry, Stroke City, Doire Cholmchille, the Maiden City, under whatever title, it is time to raise a cheer for that fine city in the north-west and the lively, imaginative and resourceful people who live there, for having been selected, against stiff competition, as UK City of Culture for 2013.
It is perhaps a sign of the times and an indication that people are more relaxed within the complex political and cultural construct that arises from the Good Friday Agreement that although the United Kingdom dimension of the award has not been emphasised, nor has it been repudiated.
All political parties have been able to endorse the application -- and none with more enthusiasm than Sinn Fein. Some may recognise an echo of de Valera's 'mental reservation' in regard to the recognition of legal and constitutional reality, but pragmatism reigns and nobody is in any doubt about the validity of Derry's claim to the title.