2 August 2001 Edition

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The Ardoyne Fleadh

Armour-plated entertainment

Despite the ongoing campaign of loyalist violence in North Belfast, the annual Ardoyne Fleadh has hit the ground running.

The festivities opened with a colourful parade last Sunday, 29 July, and pride of place this year went to Ballymurphy man Joe Corbett, who led the parade in a former British Army Humber armoured troop carrier.

Nicknamed the `Pig', the Humber was an unwelcome but all too common sight in nationalist areas during the conflict, so to see it now as part of the Ardoyne Fleadh was a novelty. Corbett bought the vehicle over the Internet and intends using it to give visitors to Belfast a guided tour of nationalist areas.

As usual, the Ardoyne Fleadh has something for everyone and this year the gig rig with its various musical delights will again tour the area, setting up in a different place every evening.

Despite being in the news for all the wrong reasons, Rosaleen Walsh's play, `Final Encore' was staged in the Golden Thread Theatre on Tuesday night and was well received by its audience. ``It gave so many insights into its subject, teenage suicide, and will have made people think so much about this issue,'' said one member of the audience.

Not to be missed is the historical tour of North Belfast, which promises to uncover many of the hidden historical facts of this part of the city. The Tour kicks off at the Fleadh office at 10.30am on Thursday morning. On Thursday evening, the hunger strike drama, ``The Laughter of Our Children'', is being staged in the Golden Threads Theatre in the Brookfield Mill.

And as the weekend draws in, there is the promise of Irish traditional and folk music in Ardoyne's many venues, arguably best appreciated with a modicum of liquid entertainment. As they say in the programme, Miss it and miss out!!!

For details call Belfast (90) 751 056

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1