The Balmoral Councillor stated: “This year’s St Patrick’s Day was such a success in Belfast, which is a testament to the many people who make it so. Despite siren calls about possible dangers, it passed off peacefully and enjoyably.
“It is fitting that the funding provided by Belfast City Council has been secured for next year’s St Patrick’s Day events.
“St Patrick was not exclusive to one section of the community, nor was he an Irish Republican. Rather, he should be an inclusive symbol for everyone on this island.
“Alliance supports a well-run festival to commemorate St Patrick’s Day in this way. Such a festival is a positive addition to a vibrant, successful Belfast.
“Far from posing any threat to business trade, a cross-community, family-oriented day’s events brings vitality and prosperity to the area.
“I am disappointed that Unionist politicians cannot recognise how much this situation has improved and continues to fail to provide the leadership to endorse further positive developments. The wider community has embraced this day, and let us hope this progress continues.”