'Investigate your own festivals' - Fleadh

Published Wednesday, 03 September 2014
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The organisers of the Ardoyne Fleadh have told the DUP to "investigate festivals in their own area" before making remarks about ones in other areas.

It comes after complaints were made about the band The Druids, who were filmed urging British soldiers and their "Orange comrades" to go back "to England" during a performance at the Fleadh.

The incident was reported to police but the Public Prosecution Service on Tuesday said the comments did not amount to a criminal offence and there will be no prosecution.

Organisers of the Fleadh have now pointed to a video which shows a performer on stage at an eleventh night loyalist event at Woodvale Park making comments which they say are offensive.

The video, filmed in July of last year, shows a woman making what they describe as "sectarian remarks" about the Pope and Sinn Féin.

Fleadh organisers said: "This event was funded by Belfast City Council and operated without a Belfast City Council entertainment license of which I'm sure the DUP were quite aware of. Maybe the DUP should investigate festivals in their own area before making remarks about other festivals."

Police defended the decision not to prosecute The Druids saying there was a "full and thorough" investigation into the complaints and evidence was presented to the PPS.

However the PPS said that, on the basis of information provided, "it was not considered that there was evidence of conduct amounting to a criminal offence".

SDLP MLA Alban Maginness said he agrees with the decision.

He said: "They have studied the incident thoroughly and come to a considered decision based on law and nothing else and decided there isn't sufficient evidence there to bring a prosecution."

However unionist politicians have expressed their frustrations with Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory over the incident.

William Humphrey, DUP MLA, said: "He states that the PSNI did not actually submit a case file so the PPS never viewed the evidence for themselves.

"This public rationale and the speed at which the matter was handled will convince more that the PSNI and PPS are trying to sweep this all under the carpet as quickly as they can."

Tom Elliott of the UUP said: "I am absolutely disgusted at the lack of courage of the PPS to pursue the Druids for what was clearly a sectarian hate filled outburst."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
23 Comments
realistic in planet earth wrote (49 days ago):
Meanwhile, in real life, decent people just worry about their families, their bills, their health, and try to get on with life.... YAWN!
David in Belfast wrote (51 days ago):
Republicans being supported once again at the highlest level. This time its the pps and civil cervants. Nothing new there as its been going on for years.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (51 days ago):
Funny how they waited until they found out they werent being investigated before making these comments. They were nothing but apologetic and distanced themselves from the comments before hand. Now its knarky comments!
Wills in Belfast wrote (51 days ago):
It looks like the PSNI don't want to be upset the Sinners at the expense of public.
big t in belfast wrote (51 days ago):
hear hear well said because there's nothing more sectarian than the 11th night bonfires and the 12th but they get passed of as culture oh the hypocrisy.
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