Northern Ireland

Derry's influence on the Good Friday Agreement to be examined at Féile 2023

What started as a one-day event in 1993 has now become Derry's biggest community and arts festival
What started as a one-day event in 1993 has now become Derry's biggest community and arts festival

Two of the key negotiators in the lead-up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement are to examine a possible “Derry influence” on the history-making deal.

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan and ex-Stormont speaker Mitchel McLaughlin will address the question: 'Was there a Derry influence on the Good Friday Agreement' in one of the keynote political discussions in this year’s Féile Derry.

The discussion is one of more than 100 events in this year's programme, which was launched on Tuesday.

Started as a one-day event in Derry’s Bogside in 1993 and called the Gasyard Féile, it has grown to become the city’s biggest community arts festival.

Running this year from August 12 to 19 across the Bogside, Brandywell, Fountain, Creggan and Derry city centre, it includes music, literature, politics, film, sport, history and comedy.

A Féile spokesman said the festival celebrates “everything that is great” about the neighbourhoods.

“At Féile 2023, we will remember and pay tribute to Roisin Barton, Stephen Gargan and Donncha Mac Niallais, three significant community activists who passed away within the past year, who contributed massively not only to Féile but also to the transformation and development of these communities,” the spokesman said.

Read more: 

  • Young people call for reform of Good Friday Agreement
  • Barry Turley: Delivering on the promise of that beautiful morning 25 years ago

Among the musical highlights will be 'The Original Sound of Derry', a programme of performances by leading Derry musicians with bus trips, summer schemes and family fun events also being held.

This year’s Féile also boasts its biggest ever sports programme with, football, athletics and GAA competitions.

Political discussion has always been a popular aspect of Féile and this year is no different with Professor Colin Harvey among those who will address a range of issues from the Good Friday Agreement to a future border poll.

Full details of all events are available at: