The Blanket

A Vibrant Felie

Sean Smyth

Once again West Belfast has showed the British establishment, Orange Order, Loyalist and Unionist politicians - if that is what you would call them - how a city of culture should be, with yet another successful feile an phobail.

I was privileged to attend the International Night in the Marquee, where you had a mixture of people who were White, Black, Latin/North American, Palestinians, Catholic, Protestant, Dissenter, Gay and Heterosexual and, not forgetting all the Europeans, all in the one tent of culture and diversity. And not one word of anger or hatred was spoken.

In a community that has borne the brunt of British Injustice since the formation of this sectarian state, the Feile committee and the people of West Belfast can hold their heads up high and be proud of the show they put on with what are very limited resources.

Maybe some day the Loyalist, Unionist, and Orange communities will follow the example of Feile an Phobail and instead of ramming their hate driven culture down the throats of Nationalists make it some thing they can share with all the communities in the North of Ireland.

However I would have just one word of criticism (the Talk Back debate). Once again we had to endure a anti-nationalist representative from the Unionist party, and Austin Currie, whoever he represents, plus a journalist, who spent the night refusing to answer any questions they did not like, i.e. Afghanistan, Iraq, Colombia, the Middle East, the 11+, and so on. Some of the questions asked were worthy of an reasonable answer instead of being brushed aside. Surley now the time has come to get a panel of international speakers worthy of such an event rather the verbal crap which was taken to a new level by this year's panel, or at the very least a chair who will not let the panel off the hook so easily. The public deserve better and I believe that no debate would be better that a repeat of this years.

Feile an Phobail has nothing to prove to any government body or funding agency and surely now proper funding must be granted to what could be the biggest community festival in Europe, if not in the world, which would give a massive boost to the local tourist industry, and truly make Belfast a City of Culture - and diversity.

Sean Smyth is a delighted Feile goer











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If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.
- Thomas J. Watson, Jr

Index: Current Articles

22 August 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Listen Rather Than Punish
Anthony McIntyre


To Hell With the True Believers
Newton Emerson


Merger Mania
Ciarán Irvine


Interface Workers Snubbed
Billy Mitchell


A Vibrant Feile
Sean Smyth


RIRA & CIRA: No Support and Going Nowhere?
Liam O Ruairc


18 August 2002


Unidentified Mob Rule
Aine Fox


The West Belfast Feile
Newton Emerson


The Most Useless, Most Spineless, Most Pointless of Them All
Ciarán Irvine


North Belfast: A Resident's View
Joan Totten


A Tawny Sinew
Anthony McIntyre


Deepest Sympathy


Ahmed Al Kouraini
Sam Bahour


A Personal Voyage of Taboo

Davy Carlin


Reading Connolly
Liam O Ruairc




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