A Belfast councillor has expressed disappointment after the city failed to make the shortlist to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield were announced at the seven potential host cities.
While the 2022 winner Ukraine should be hosting the contest in 2023, the honour passed to the UK as runner-up due to the ongoing Russian invasion.
Our road to Eurovision ends here, but I am so proud of the campaign @SeamasBelfast, @micky_murray & I led to this point.— Cllr Anthony Flynn (@AntoFlynnser) August 12, 2022
I will always take the opportunity to push our brilliant city for the best in the world & look forward to other major events we can host #EurovisionBelfast pic.twitter.com/tpXHLAVQiK
Belfast SDLP councillor Séamas De Faoite, who had been leading the charge for Belfast to host Eurovision, urged that whichever city does win, that they honour Ukraine.
He reacted to the shortlist announcement on Friday morning saying: “Obviously, I am disappointed, but I think we had to make a very good case for the city and it was always going to be really difficult.
“We have one major venue that could have potentially hosted this, but I think at the same time, part of the conversation to come out of this is that it has been around about 10 years since we’ve hosted major events like the MTV EMA’s, like the World Police and Fire Games.
“We should be trying to be more ambitious about the kind of events that we try to bring to the city.
“Tourism, hospitality and the warm welcome that we have to offer to people is such a huge part of what makes Belfast, Belfast.
He told the BBC: “The important thing is that whoever ends up being the host city, that they do everything they can to honour the winners from Ukraine.”