9 July 1998 Edition

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Festival fun ready to rev

Féile an Phobail 2-9 August

Monday 29 June saw the launch of Europe's biggest and brightest community festival. The launch of the 11th Feile an Phobail (West Belfast Community Festival) was attended by Gerry Adams MP for West Belfast and the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor David Alderdice.

Once again, people from all communities are invited ``Into the West'' to join in an historic and unrivalled celebration with a unique people of diverse ages and talents. Major events on the programme this year include the Opening Day Carnival, major art exhibitions, plays, orchestral recitals, comedy nights, lectures and cultural evenings and a huge outdoor concert featuring Brian Kennedy, Mary Black, and Shane MacGowan and The Popes as well as many old festival favourites.

There are some new events and concepts including the first West Belfast Festival Campsite at Pairc Lamh Dhearg that will not only provide camping facilities for visitors but will also provide marquee entertainment nightly.

Throughout the week prioners in Long Kesh, Maghaberry and Portlaoise will also be celebrating Feile week. There will be a sponsored Fun Run, music sessions, poetry reading and discusions and debates around the theme 1798 and prisoners will be taking visits from a wide range of delegations. Prisoners on parole will also attend events in West Belfast.

Speaking at the launch, Gerry Adams said ``The past 12 months have been action-packed and the work has never stopped and I would just like to thank all those who worked on the committee.'' Caitriona Ruane, Director of Feile an Phobail added ``Feile an Phobail has gone from strength to strength by positively embracing the winds of change, continually evolving through the celebration of our historical and cultural existence as we approach a new millennium.''

In the coming weeks we will preview many of the Féile highlights.

An Phoblacht
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