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Cities alive with 2014 New Year celebrations

Michael Kennedy adds a touch of Scottish Tradition to the Glens of Antrim as he pipes in 2014 at Glenariff Water Falls

Michael Kennedy adds a touch of Scottish Tradition to the Glens of Antrim as he pipes in 2014 at Glenariff Water Falls

Many people saw in 2014 at one of Northern Ireland’s glamorous venues last night – but for others, ‘staying in was the new going out’.

In Belfast, the City Hall was bathed in a rainbow light countdown to see in the New Year.

And music legend Van Morrison was back on home turf playing an intimate, one-off gig at the Harp Bar in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.

Only 180 lucky fans were able to get tickets to see the greatly anticipated show that sold out in minutes.

Titanic Belfast, The Europa, Lavery’s The Empire Music Hall and Black Box all held special musical celebrations across the city.

And Londonderry celebrated its last few hours as the UK City of Culture 2013 with a service in the cathedral and the usual lively celebrations across its clubs and pubs.

However, a survey by Vouchercodes.co.uk found Britons increasingly wanted to stay in for New Year’s Eve; only one in nine planned to go out, many citing the expense.

A good number of News Letter Twitter followers agreed.

Newry man Robert Moffett said: “Can’t be bothered with all the pushing and shoving and rip-off prices!”

Belfast community radio volunteer David Gabbie was staying at home with his favourite ‘wireless’ for company.

Proud Belfast dad Chrissy Peacock planned to be in bed “as our three-month-old Poppy is teething”, as did North Down councillor Peter Martin, whose five-month-old son Sam isn’t sleeping either.

David Meeke from Dromore, Co Down, was planning a meal out and then “feet up at the fire with a little liquid lubrication”.

Similarly, east Belfast man ‘J-MAC’ was in Ballymac Glentoran supporters’ club “with fellow Glens supporters and the wife!”

Belfast Samaritans volunteers told us they would be tending the phone lines and Andy in Belfast asked us to spare a thought for those obliged to work.

Martin Erwin, like many others, was seeing the New Year in for the first time without a special loved one.

He was planning a quiet night in with his mum “after we lost dad this year”.

Deep Purple fan Keith Livingstone said he would probably be in bed. “After all, it’ll still be 2014 whether I celebrate it or not,” he said with a wink.

But for Ballymoney man Kyle Leckey the plan was simple: “House party!”

 
 
 

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