15 May 1997 Edition

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Feile funds threatened

Feile an Phobail Director Catriona Ruane and Sinn Fein Councillor Alex Maskey have confirmed they are taking legal advice regarding DUP councillors' efforts to deny or delay funding for three Féile projects.

Alex Maskey said that Belfast City Council denied funding for three nationalist projects, a ``very political and sectarian decision.''

Feile Director Catriona Ruane told An Phoblacht that the arts officer and Policy Resources Committee had recommended the release of funding, but a full council meeting deferred the decision, despite Féile meeting all criteria.

Ruane said, ``this is censorship, and a denial of our civil, political and cultural rights, and raises the question of whether Belfast City Council should even be administering future funding as this is an attack on the community of West Belfast and our festival, one of the biggest and most successful community arts festivals in Europe.''

She confirmed Feile was writing to West Belfast MP Gerry Adams, MEPS, Mo Mowlam, Euro Commissioner Padraig Flynn, political parties, arts and community groups and human rights groups all over Ireland asking them to write to Belfast City Council and call on the council to restore funding immediately. Féile is also writing to Making Belfast Work who administer Belfast City Council's funding for community arts.

The attack on Feile was initiated by the DUP after the Belfast Council Arts Awards dinner on 12 April when Féile and Dubbeljoint theatre company won a Belfast City Council Award for the partnership play `Just a Prisoner's Wife'. The cast featured prisoners wives, and the award was received in Irish, and dedicated to prisoners and their families worldwide.


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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