ARDOYNE FLEADH ROW: NO DIRECT FUNDING FROM BELFAST CITY COUNCIL

Folk group The Druids spark a row at Ardoyne Fleadh over 'hate speech'

Folk group The Druids spark a row at Ardoyne Fleadh over ‘hate speech’

THE DUP has held a meeting today with senior officials from Belfast City Council over the ongoing row over the Ardoyne Fleadh.

The party’s council leader Lee Reynolds said he has been told by officials that:

1. “The Fleadh did not receive direct Council funding.

2. “The Ardoyne Youth Providers did receive £800 for two family fun events on Friday and Saturday in the Holy Cross grounds.

3. “This is Atlantic Philanthropies money that is administered by the Community Safety Unit of the City Council. These events were included in the Fleadh programme. Further detail is to be provided about what was funded with this money. It did include a PA system. The first explanation offered about the event did not fit with the description in the programme.

4. “So far 10 complaints have been received regarding noise issues. I have received more complaints about that personally but people need to lodge their complaints directly with the Council Noise team on 028 9037 3006.

5. “From the discussion a number of limitations of licensing law for outdoor events have arisen that we intend to pursue.

6. “As regards the use of the Council logo without permission the legal recourse options are to be provided later,” added councillor Reynolds.

A storm erupted on Monday after it was revealed that folk band The Druids were accused of making a “hate speech” at a gig the previous night.

The PSNI are now investigating after one member of the band was recorded on video at the event on Sunday evening describing Northern Ireland as the “Occupied Six Counties”.

He later told the audience that British soldiers in Ireland “should get together with their Orange comrades” and go back to England.

The DUP branded the remarks as a “glorification of terrorism” and called for public funding for the festival to be pulled.

The party along with Jim Allister’s Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) made formal complaints to the PSNI in north Belfast.

Councillor Lee Reynolds, leader of the DUP on Belfast City Council, said the comments were “hate speech” and “incitement to hatred”.

“Their introductions to their songs, parts of the songs and also the songs that they chose to play were deeply offensive,” he said.

“We understand this event received a range of public funding. We believe that the actions of last night justify the withdrawal of that funding and also the withdrawal of sponsorship,” he said.

“As regards these concerts, they have continually been raised as a problem and the complaints about them have been ignored by the organisers.

“What happened on Sunday night was bound to happen. We had already opposed licensing of this event.”

The organisers of the event later said the remarks were “wrong an inappropriate”.

 

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