Another joyful night for culture and sport in Northern Ireland

News Letter editorial of Thursday August 12 2021:

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 1:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:28 pm
News Letter editorial

The Super Cup football game in Belfast last night was another triumph for normal, vibrant life in Northern Ireland.

Not many years ago, it was inconceivable that a major sporting event would be held in the Province.

It is almost 50 years since the Troubles reached its bleakest and most violent point in the early 1970s, but for three decades after that NI was on an unwritten blacklist for international cultural or sporting events.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They would not have contemplated allowing themselves to be based here.

It was into this millennium before even cruise ships would call into Belfast as they sailed around the British Isles.

Gradually all this has changed.

Northern Ireland is now on the tourist map as a key part of the itinerary on any tour of the UK and Ireland.

Within the last decade, NI has also become an increasingly trusted venue for big events.

The MTV awards were held here in 2011, the G8 summit in 2013, the Giro D’Italia the following year, and the Open golf in 2019.

The Super Cup game is not as prestigious as the European Cup. Even so, it is an game of international standing, and last night it was played at Windsor Park between two clubs from the world’s top leagues — Chelsea, from London, and Villarreal from Spain.

The sight of fans from those competitor teams making their way in good spirits to the stadium in south Belfast was a vivid reminder also of the slow return to normality after the almost 18-month shutdown to combat Covid — made possible by the successful rollout of vaccines.

It was another memorable evening in long, joyful history of NI returning to ordinary pleasures from the trauma of the years of conflict and the more recent dislocation caused by the pandemic.

——— ———

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Ben Lowry

Acting Editor