06 February 2006

Adams pledges support for Féile funding crisis

Irelandclick

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has called for maximum community support for Féile an Phobail as it faces its greatest funding crisis since its establishment in 1988.

As revealed in Thursday’s Andersonstown News, uncertainty hangs over the festival after the Department for Social Development (DSD) and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) called a halt to funding.

This has resulted in the loss of five key jobs within Féile an Phobail.

“Breaches of commitments on funding by the Department for Social Development and Department of Culture, including breaches of personal commitments given to me by British Ministers, mean that the Féile’s ability to organise key events will be severely affected,” said Mr Adams.

“The West Belfast Féile is one of the most successful of its kind in these islands.

“It empowers local communities, is an educational and play resource for thousands of children each year, draws in millions of pounds to the local economy, is a major tourist attraction for the city and promotes the arts and culture,” he added.

The West Belfast MP said that the Féile also crucially provides an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to come together and talk about issues affecting them.

“In particular this involves representatives of unionist and loyalist organisations, as well as ethnic minorities,” said the Sinn Féin President.
“I have spoken to the British Secretary of State and other Ministers on this issue.

“I will continue to lobby and press them on it but it is also very important that everyone within the West Belfast community mobilises around the Féile,” he added.

Journalist:: Staff Journalist

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