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Gerry Adams opens Féile an Phobail

2 August, 2004

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP speaking at the opening day Féile an Phobail parade has urged the community to stand together against racism, and, commenting on the tragic death of a teenage girl in West Belfast, also called for greater support for the young people of the area.

Mr Adams invited members of the Philippine community to join him on the stage in the Falls Park where they were warmly received. Mr Adams said:

"This community is a diverse and welcoming community. It is vital that we all stand together against racism and that the hand of friendship is extended to everyone who lives and works here. I want to congratulate the many anti-racism initiatives that are springing up throughout the city and particularly here in West Belfast.

In reference to the tragic death of a young teenager in the city cemetery last night Mr Adams added:

"Féile an Phobail and especially the opening day is about our young people. We need to celebrate and treasure our young people.

"As a community and as a society we need to give every support we can offer to ensure that they can make the best possible start with their lives.

Local West Belfast Councillor Marie Cush added here sympathy. Cllr Cush said:

"This is a sad and tragic loss. The community is in a state of shock. I want to extend sympathy to the entire Barnes family circle and also to this young woman's many friends." ENDS

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