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Féile an Phobail - A Winning Formula: Adams

4 July, 2006

This morning Féile an Phobail launched this years programme for the August Festival. A section of this years programme is dedicated to Siobhan O'Hanlon who recently passed away and who in addition to being a key member of Gerry Adams staff was a member of the Féile Management Committee for many years.

Gerry Adams MP said:

"Féile an Phobail is a tribute to the resilience and dedication of hundreds of activists over almost 20 years.

"The imagination and innovation which has marked successive Féile is a testimony to all of you here today, and the many others who have contributed to it since 1988.

"The Féile has transformed West Belfast in the summer. Its combination of community events and the arts, as well as its determined outreach to young people is a winning formula which is now being replicated by communities across the north, as well as in the south.

"Congratulations to all involved in putting together this amazing programme.‚

The West Belfast MP singled out several events which he hopes to attend. These include:

"The Rev. Brian Kennaway‚s talk on 'The Orange Order' a Tradition Betrayed‚ is a must on Saturday 5th at 12 noon in Culturlann; Peter Taylor's 'Journalism and Conflict' in St. Mary's on the 11th is another discussion well worth a visit, and of course there is 'My Kind of People' in the Westwood Centre on Saturday the 12th.

"Finally, there is the Carnival Parade. Each year it gets bigger and better but there‚s still room for more floats and participants. So, if you want to take part contact the Féile committee and join in the craic on Sunday the 6th August."

Concluding the West Belfast MP criticised the approach of the government and government departments and agencies to the funding of Féile.

Mr. Adams said: "Despite the fact that the Féile is one of the most successful community based festivals on these islands each year there is a battle over funding.

"And each year a variety of excuses for further reductions in funding allocations.

"This year has been different in that the funding cuts have been even more severe and essential jobs within the Féile have been lost. It is a disgrace that this community festival is treated in this way. Despite this we continue to speak to the Secretary of States office in an effort to resolve these matters before August." ENDS

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