DFM chooses inclusive choir over Kemp

Published Wednesday, 05 February 2014
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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has tweeted that he missed Ross Kemp's Extreme World programme about Northern Ireland because he was instead watching a UTV report on Belfast's cross-community gospel choir.

DFM chooses inclusive choir over Kemp
Ross Kemp's show looked at sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland. (© Presseye)

The Sinn Féin politician said he wondered if those featured in the Kemp documentary, filmed during the height of last summer's Twelfth disorder, would "blush" if they saw the footage of the choir, which aims to showcase NI in a more positive and colorful light.

Singers from all communities and representing all walks of life are involved in the 100-strong musical group, which was set up by Maire Lacey.

"I formed the choir in 2009, it seemed the perfect time to have an expression of unity and joy and it was after the Good Friday Agreement," she told UTV Live Tonight.

"We entered in to the new millennium and there is just a sense of hope in our city and our country and I thought let's express that in a choir, and so here we are."

While troubled images of Northern Ireland were broadcast on Tuesday night, Maire said her group is hard at work raising funds to bring a brighter side of Belfast to audiences in New York.

She continued: "We are very jovial choir. We laugh a lot on stage. I banter with the audience a lot and I think the American audiences are going to love that. It is so fresh.

"We are a community that just comes on stage and sings and we mightn't even all move in the right time or do the same things exactly but that doesn't matter because we are a community that sings and that is what sets us apart from most choirs."

© UTV News
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11 Comments
lorna in limavady wrote (266 days ago):
Poor excuse that. Extreem worlds are shown on sky repeated many times. He should look at it. it tells the real story. not one sided like many programes. shows what really goes on in this part of the UK.Paid by the taxes given for security here.If for ten minutes the residences would allow others to walk then much more than community relations would benifit. but no !It people still trying to get the upper hand regardless of what the poor public think.As for the so called loyalists I think bad behaviour does nothing to get sympathy.It is time for all involved to take stock and view themselves as others are forced to see them. maybe this year can be different but not because politics play such a big part.Martin could be educated as to what the years of troubles has given us. people full of fear of being forced into something they cannot accept. UTV maybe i could just have a successful comment entered.
Claire in Enniskillen wrote (268 days ago):
Well done Marie Lacey, shame there isn't more like you in this beautiful Country. Great to see both communities together, this is what this Country needs.
Ryan in An Dun wrote (268 days ago):
@ lucylou in Belfast. Firstly it wasn't a tourist program. It's called extreme world. Clues in the name. It was extreme. And for you to track back to Martin Mc Guinness past is just stupid. Martin doesn't hide anything from his past. For you to come on here and spout the usual loyalist rant about Martin Mc Guinness in the 70's. Maybe if the British Government was as truthfull we would get more answers. He has a right to watch what he wants and I think he's right. If some of those involved in the rioting watched last night and seen themselves throwing stones and attacking police would they be blushing or gerring because they havent been caught?
Me in Belfast wrote (268 days ago):
@lucylou. Since when has Mr McGuinness been first minister?!
Hugh in Belfast wrote (268 days ago):
@ Lucylou, are you serious? So, because he chose to watch something positive about N. Ireland over something negative, you call him dismissive? Also regarding your second comment - maybe you are more concearned about petty things like walking down a road but in my opinion, cross community events are a far more important way of dealing with segregation and maybe even possibly lead to less sectarianism in the future. But as usual, people here are obsessed with negative aspects of our society and give no time to positive cultural events. This is why the place isn't moving forward
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