15/03/2004

St Patrick's Day event has support of BCC says councillor

The Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Good Relations Steering Panel has challenged claims that the Council is not supporting St Patrick’s Day in Belfast.

It follows a protest outside Belfast City Hall last week by the St Patrick's Carnival Committee who claim the Council isn't funding this year's event at the City Hall.

However, Councillor Tom Ekin said Belfast City Council was contributing more than £43,000 towards St. Patrick's Day throughout Belfast.

“A total of 40 local community and voluntary groups from all parts of Belfast will celebrate St Patrick’s Day with special events organised in their own areas thanks to funding of more than £28,000 received in grant-aid from Belfast City Council," Cllr. Ekin said.

Chairperson of the St Patrick's Carnival Committee, Irene Sherry said:

"The St Patrick's Carnival Committee are putting on a top-class event which will bring tens of thousands of people into Belfast city centre.

"We are calling on Belfast City Council even at this late hour to back our efforts to make Belfast the place to be on St Patrick's Day by providing funding for the St Patrick's Day concert."

This year's outdoor event in Belfast City Centre is likely to be the biggest in recent memory with chart topping band Girls Aloud headlining the show on Wednesday.

(MB)

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