Memorable festival promised at launch of Féile Oriel ’11

21 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Michael McDonnell
michael@northern-standard.ie

Those attending the launch of Féile Oriel 2011 in the Market House, Monaghan on Tuesday evening were assured that this year’s event would be as memorable as any before, notwithstanding the 11th-hour decision by Monaghan Co Council’s Peace III Partnership Board not to provide the €35,000 in funding that had been applied for.
The festival’s principal organiser Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn didn’t mince his words in expressing disappointment at the partnership’s decision, pointing out that some key items on the programme — which had been drawn up in January — had to be cancelled as a result. These included cross-community events like the concert by The Priests in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland and the planned performance by Riverdance choral group Anúna.
Noting that a similar concert by The Priests in a Presbyterian church had been lauded on BBC Radio as “groundbreaking”, Mr Ó Duinnchinn remarked that it was a pity Monaghan Co Council’s Peace III committee could not share this vision.
It was only last year that the same committee described Féile Oriel as “a flagship peace project for Monaghan”, he added. Yet on this occasion it had decided not to provide an amount of funding that would have been “a fraction” of its total budget of about €4 million.
The Peace III decision had been the subject of widespread discourse, which was understandable given that the money had come from Europe specifically for projects such as the Féile Oriel, which was run on an entirely voluntary basis, he argued.
By contrast, he also pointed to the support that had been forthcoming from ordinary people and businesses in Monaghan since the Peace III support was withdrawn, and he thanked all the sponsors and those who were helping out or giving accommodation to musicians.
Monaghan Town Council and the Arts Council had also helped with the funding. The festival would not be “scuppered”, and he gave thanks to all the groups and individuals who were giving help and support in any way.
Also addressing the event was Monaghan County Mayor Jackie Crowe, Town Council Mayor Robbie Gallagher and Gael Linn CEO Antaine Ó Coileain.

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