McAllister: Féile must do more to prove inclusive nature

Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister has condemned the display of IRA flags and chanting at a Wolfe Tones concert that brought an end of this year’s West Belfast Féile.

This year’s event put a focus on inclusion, with organisers taking events to all parts of West Belfast and welcoming input from all political and cultural backgrounds.

Nuala added: “After two weeks of fantastic events that signalled the desire of organisers to create an open and inclusive festival open to all, it defies logic that they would then book this particular band to bring the festival to a close.

“What followed must be condemned. There is no place in our society for this blatant sectarianism designed to drive division and hatred deep into the community and those displaying flags and emblems need to recognise what unfolded was not acceptable. It was an extremely disappointing display and the organisers need to explain their thinking behind the booking.

“The organisers booked this band knowing its track record and now have some work to do to prove they are truly committed to providing an inclusive event, rather than simply paying lip service to diversity. Moving forward they must outline what steps they will take to ensure this does not happen again.

“Moving forward, I hope the organisers of Féile will pay more than lip-service to diversity and demonstrate through actions their real desire to showcase a truly inclusive festival in the future.”

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