O’Neill hails Féile an Phobail for bringing people and communities together
Sinn Féin First Minister Designate Michelle O’Neill has hailed the role of Féile an Phobail in bringing people and communities together during the summer.
Speaking at the launch of Féile an Phobail in St Mary’s University today, Michelle O’Neill said:
“As First Minister elect, I take huge inspiration from Féile an Phobail and how it’s very much a model and a lesson to us all in how to break-through barriers, build up social and community connections, showcase and champion local talent and create space for all shades of opinion, viewpoints and most importantly ideas, to be respectfully discussed, heard, and translated into action by us all, not least the Government.
“In my role I am very fortunate to often meet people from every walk of life, to hear their story, their fears, challenges, and their hopes and ambitions.
“The present realities of the rising cost of living are bearing down heavily on families and households. This is not helped by the fact there is no Assembly or Executive to help those who are struggling and need financial support, which I want to provide with urgency and without delay.
“Féile provides an outlet for everyone, but by remaining true to its core aims it is providing a safe, accessible and affordable programme which allows families, friends and neighbours to come together and entertain, to be entertained and for 11 days of the year allow some let up.
“Our young people continue to be a core part of the whole Féile production which is great, and local talent continues to be given a platform and is promoted and championed opening new doors to opportunity and success.
“The wider contribution of Féile to the cultural fabric of Belfast, the arts and tourism sectors and to the local economy is also quite significant.
“There are over 300 events taking place this year and I applaud the work and efforts of everyone who has contributed to bringing this year’s programme together.”