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Féile an Phobail Annual Report / Tuarascáil Bhliantúil 2010

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010


Contents / Clár Féile Staff / Foireann na Féile Management Committee / Coiste Bainistíochta………………………………… 02 Chairperson / Cathaoirleach……………………………………………………… 03 Director / Stiúrthóir………………………………………………………………… 06 Events Management / Bainisteoir Imeachtaí…………………………………… 09 Youth Arts / Ealaín na bPáistí………………………………………………………. 12 Féile FM 103.2……………………………………………………………………… 18 Oscailt (Disability Development) / Forbairt Don Lucht Míchumais……… 23 Drama and Exhibitions / Drámaí agus Taispeántais……………………………. 27 Discussion and Debate / Plé agus Diospóíreacht………………………………. 30 Marketing / Margoíocht……………………………………………………………. 31 Finance and Administration / Airgeadas agus Riaracháin……………………. 35 Audited Accounts / Cuntais Iniúchta…………………………………………….. 38 Local Committees and organisations working with Féile / Coiste agus Eagraíocht áitúil ag obair le Féile……………………………………………….. 40 Funders and Sponsors / Maoinitheoirí agus Urraí………………………… 43


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Féile Staff / Foireann na Féile Sean Paul O’Hare – Director Cathy Kelly – Finance and Administration Officer Theresa Doyle – Administrator Kevin Morrison – Youth Arts Development Officer Jenny Gillespie – Events Manager Elsie McLoughlin – Marketing and Sponsorship Officer Emma Heatley – Student Placement / Marketing Assistant Margaret McKernan – Disability Development Officer Sharon Reid – Housekeeper Robbi McMillen – IT and Graphic Design Conor Mc Keating - Receptionist Rosemary Whelan – Féile Fm Administrator Maura O’Brien – Féile FM Creative Development Officer Tom Clark – Féile FM Production Ryan May – Féile FM Production

Management Committee / Coiste Bainistíochta Danny Morrison – Chairperson Gerry Adams Ciaran Kearney Angela Mervyn – Treasurer Seán Mistéil Paula MacManus Vincent Parker – Secretary Steven Corr John Paul Russell Paul Maskey Aislinn Hagan Harry Connolly Kevin Gamble Joe Austin Barry Fennell -2-

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Chairperson / Cathaoirleach Tá áthas orm a bheith ag labhairt anseo inniú fá Fhéile an Phobail, an fhéile phobail is mó in Éirinn. You are all very welcome to the 2010 AGM of Féile as we face into our twenty-third annual August festival.

At last year’s AGM Sean Paul accused me of stealing his thunder and his entire address so I shall try to be brief. As outgoing Chair and a member of the Management Committee I would like to thank the staff at Teach na Féile and Féile FM, under the directorship of Sean Paul O’Hare, who together as a team make the four or five festivals we now organise throughout the year, possible. They deserve a big round of applause for their work in the Féile year just passed…

I would also like to commend the staff for the diligence and detail behind their monthly work reports which also ensures that the Management Committee is kept informed of the complex engine behind the running of this fine festival.

In mitigation, on behalf of management, let me say, we try to do our best, and assure you that while it might appear that we are from Mars and you are from Venus, that you are just looking through the telescope from the wrong end. We observe, admire and salute the work that you do, of which we know you are proud and which has made this festival a trail-blazer in this city, and a major contributor to peace, progress, community relations, reconciliation, equality for all, and illustrates the progressive power of the arts in society in general.

One person I will mention by name is our marketing officer, Elsie, who has been with us for four of the festivals of 2009/2010, I think, and who, having learnt everything we could teach her [!] is going onto greener pastures and is -3-

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going to take on the big wide marketing world on her own. We wish her every success and we know that she will not forget to plug us out there at every opportunity.

In the year ahead, we face many challenges. The economic climate clearly has an effect on arts funding and the spending power of the public. We are very conscious of the impact of recession, particularly on those most victimised by its blows, the working class. We try to strike a balance, on the one hand, between the affordability of the arts for the public to enjoy, to be entertained, educated and inspired by culture, and, on the other hand, by the necessities and practicalities of Féile’s endurance and its expansion as Belfast’s premier radical arts phenomena in Belfast.

I want to repeat something I said at last year’s AGM. I want to encourage new blood and fresh faces. If you are too shy to stand for the management or if you know a friend with specialist or vested interests, which couldn’t be here today, someone that can make a contribution to the running of the organisation, we have provision for a certain number of co-options, and you should speak to the incoming management committee afterwards about this.

Today, I don’t intend to review the successes of Féile 2009 and what worked and what didn’t work. I shall leave that for a discussion after our reports.

What I do want to say is that I am very proud of this organisation. I myself as a writer have spoken at many literary festivals in Ireland and Britain and further afield, and attended many cultural events. When asked what I do back home I say that I am a writer and throw in that I also chair the festival first founded in West Belfast in 1988, Féile an Phobail.


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Whilst my audience often have never heard of me as a writer, they almost always have heard of Féile:

“Oh yes, that’s the big community festival in Ireland,” And I confirm, proudly, and without any reluctance, yes, the biggest community festival in all-Ireland, Féile an Phobail!

Danny Morrison Outgoing Chairperson


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Director / Stiúrthóir This year, Féile an Phobail, in its ethnic, vision, tolerance and inclusiveness is living proof of how arts, culture, sport, open debate and discussion can raise entire communities and contribute to peace, progress, and the well-being of society in general.

I would firstly like to thank all the local community groups for their hard work and endeavours to make the Opening Day Carnival Parade a wonderful, colourful and vibrant experience. Special thanks must go to the Upper Springfield Féile Committee who have not only created brilliant festival events throughout our entire festivals programme, but also doubled the size of our festival parade with an unbelievable array of carnival floats.

Carnival Floats The template which has been developed by Upper Springfield residents groups and the many youth and community projects is one that we hope can be transferred to other areas across Belfast. The young people who dressed up for the carnival parade and partied in the park on that sunny Sunday were brilliant, and their high spirits reminded me of why this festival is so important for our young people and why we must strive to increase our youth programme and attract more of that generation. This year again, our Youth Arts Officer Kevin Morrison ran a highly successful Youth Fringe Festival which showcased the very best of art and cultural talent across the city.

In August, we were honoured to have President of Ireland Mary McAleese who delivered an inspiring talk for the P.J McGrory Human Rights Lecture. -6-

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Once again the major music concerts in the Andersonstown Leisure, Bank Square and Clonard Monastery during our Féile an Earraigh and August festivals were extremely popular and special thanks must go to Jenny Gillespie and the Entertainment Committee who have devised an amazing programme of local, national and international talent. The new comedy festival was a complete success and we are delighted to have secured funding for the second ‘Féile Laughs at the Bank’ this May.

Féile FM has been broadcasting for over three years on a full time licence and we have over fifty volunteers who generously give up their time to create community radio programmes of the highest quality. Rosemary Whelan, has been working tirelessly over the past two years and has now been joined by our new Creative Development Radio officer Maura O’Brien. We have witnessed a great upturn in the development of the radio and we look forward to the station progressing further.

We were also delighted to formally twin Féile an Phobail with the Cork Lifelong Learning Festival and again this could not happen without the vision and drive of our Chairperson Danny Morrison and committee member Barry Fennell.

“This new partnership will hopefully bring numerous benefits to both festivals organisations and its patrons.” Cathy Kelly and Margaret McKernan also reconstructed our Drama Sub Committee. The Drama Sub Committee now comprises of members of various drama groups across the city and thanks to their hard work and expertise we clearly saw an uplift in the quality of our drama content.

Féile an Phobail has taken on a number of placement students this year and we have been most fortunate in acquiring young people with not only -7-

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potential skills and talents, but also current skills that have enhanced our internal working office mechanisms and also creatively brought vision and ideas that improved the content of each of our four festivals and other events. So a special word of thanks to Emma, Caity and Robbi.

I also have to say a big thank you to those staff who have moved on from Féile over the past year: Elsie McLoughlin, Caity Ryan and Anna Rainey and we wish them well in their future endeavours. Elsie was only with us for a year and I would like to thank her for the contribution she made in enhancing the relationship between Féile and our business partners. I cannot complete this report without thanking our finance team of Cathy Kelly and Theresa Doyle who do an unbelievable job considering the difficulties of having a multi agency funding policy.

Finally, Féile an Phobail could not produce such outstanding programming if it did not enter into productive partnerships with other arts groups and community organisations. We need to build on these partnerships to enhance our community arts programmes. Féile would like to thank our sponsors especially Tennents NI, Sainsbury’s and Foras na Gaeilge for their support and we hope they continue to invest in Féile and consequently invest in community arts which are making a major impact in driving this city forward.

For Féile, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is vitally important. It allows for reflection, it allows for discussion and importantly it elects a new Management Committee to oversee our development for the coming year. I would like to thank the outgoing management committee for its support throughout the past year and for those who also sit on various sub-committees and give up so much of their time on a voluntary capacity.

Sean Paul O’Hare Director


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Events Management / Bainisteoir Imeachtaí 2009 was a busy but exciting year for us, packed with new ideas, new relationships and a new festival.

Laugh at the Bank was a new addition to Féile an Phobail’s festival calendar year. We were delighted at the prospect of planning a new festival that would stand alone as the only dedicated comedy weekend in the North of Ireland. Laugh at the Bank got off to a great start in terms of the calibre of comedians it presented and the great audiences that turned out each night. We learnt very quickly how a comedy festival differs from our other festivals, these lessons we will bring with us for 2010.

Damian Clark

Taking part in the Bull Run

Kevin McAleer

August Féile brought many a sleepless night for all of our staff but it was a fantastic 10 days filled with sunshine, festival cheer and incredible concerts. Events included tours, walks, debates and discussions, dramas, music concerts, comedy, exhibitions, family fun days, outdoors and sporting events.

Bank Square Marquee, Clonard Monastery and Andersonstown Leisure Centre welcomed artists such as The Beat, London Community Gospel Choir, Stereo MC’s, Neil Hannon and the reunion of West Belfast band, The Adventures. The submissions from all of the community groups made a significant impact on both the quality and content of the summer programme this year.


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2009 was a special year for Féile an Phobail as an organisation. The hard work and longstanding commitment to the festival and the community paid off when we won the Aisling Award for Culture and Arts, sponsored by Movie House Cinemas. In a category with other deserved nominees, Féile were extremely proud to win in such a highly anticipated category and subsequently celebrated until the early hours!

Accepting the Féile an Phobail Aisling Award Féile an Earraigh was a great start to 2010! This festival in particular made a bold statement; that it was focused on presenting some of the best traditional and folk artists across Ireland, England and Scotland and in creating a unique buzz around the city of Belfast. Opening night saw Féile an Phobail partner with the Belfast Waterfront on the ‘Transatlantic Sessions’ concert featuring both local and internationally renowned artists such as Dan Tyminski, Cara Dillon, Eddi Reader, Jerry Douglas, and many more.

Bank Square Marquee and Clonard Monastery presented celebrated artists such as John Joe Kelly, Beoga, Penguin Cafe, Lau and Peatbog Faeries who brought down the house! Aside from the music nights, we had a jam-packed weekend of over 50 events. The Féile Sessions in Maddens Bar and The Hercules were particularly famous and we hope to have them return for August!

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We owe a great deal of thanks to those who work closely with us for their continued support, but also to the new relationships we have formed over this last year. We would like to acknowledge the Féile team, Féile FM, management committee, sub committees, production staff, security and bar staff, all of our suppliers, venues, volunteers and friends of Féile.

We look forward to setting and exceeding new goals in 2010, wish us luck!

Jenny Gillespie Events Coordinator

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Youth Arts / Ealaín na bPáistí The Youth Arts Programme, in its third year of Big Lottery funding, has continued to build upon the solid foundation that was laid in previous years. The main objective of the programme is to create opportunities to promote and develop youth art activities throughout the year during our various festivals, (August Féile, An Draíocht, and Féile an Earraigh) and to showcase the great achievements of our young people.

We have continued to build positive, effective partnerships with groups from across West Belfast and beyond; from youth and community groups, to groups within the ethnic minority sector, and from schools to arts based groups, we have been far reaching and inclusive. We have worked in schools, youth clubs, on the mountains, crèches, family centres, leisure centres, shopping centres, on the streets and waste ground, to name but a few. We have proactively brought thousands of people back into our parks, within a safe, enjoyable and comfortable environment, and with the support and collaboration of Belfast City Council, we have instilled confidence in our community to use our public green spaces.

Our August programme of events continues to grow. In 2005, there was a total of 7 children and youth based events. Since the inception of the youth arts programme there has been a marked increase. In 2007 – 14 events; 2008 – 16 events, and last year we held over 22 events ranging from arts and crafts, music, percussion workshops, costume workshops, performances, puppetry, interactive story telling, enactments, soccer schools, educational programmes, dance and sporting competitions, street theatre, youth concerts, political debates, and literary events.

In addition to these specific activities we also have the diverse, inclusive, and now legendary, Carnival Parade and Party in the Park, which again attracted thousands from across Ireland and beyond onto the streets of West Belfast.

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And to cater for those young toddlers who sometimes get lost in the midst of all those other activities, we once again provided a Teddy Bears Picnic

(which in 2008 attracted around 300 children, and last year well over the 1,000 mark) and a Toddlers Talent Show which continues to grow. One new venture in the August Féile was the Youth Fringe Festival. This allowed young people to experience events such as Youth Scribes, West Belfast Youth Talks Back and music concerts. These events were funded by Peace 3 – Building Positive Relations at the Local Level.

Left–right: Party in the Park; Teddy Bears’ Picnic; Carnival Parade

Two years ago we moved our Children’s Art Festival, An Draíocht, from March to Halloween and once again this has proven to be a more worthwhile time of the year to host this festival. In addition to our own programme of events, we have worked with other communities including the Upper Springfield and Colin Areas who have produced excellent activities to compliment our own. In previous years we conducted our events around the Celtic New Year, but for 2009, (and in keeping with our policy of utilising the parks), in partnership with the Belfast City Council, Friends of the Falls Park, and Friends of the Bog Meadows, we held a number of events in the ‘Tee Pee of Horror’, a Scandinavian style tee pee. In this unique venue we held workshops, story telling and a children’s disco, as well as performances from a number of young bands. We held our now annual Lantern Procession around the Falls Park, which was conducted in co-ordinated fashion with the Upper Springfield

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and in excess of 1,000 people descended upon the park, culminating with an amazing fireshow from the group Firepoise. The Spooker Prize was another huge success with over 160 entries submitted (100% increase on entries from previous year) from various schools across Belfast, with the winners being featured on Féile FM during that week. Our congratulations must be extended to pupils from the winning schools which included the Belfast Royal Academy, St Louise’s Comprehensive College, and Coláiste Feirste. In addition to our successful recurring events such as the pumpkin carving workshops in the shopping centres, and walkabout puppeteers, we also brought a Mobile Cinemobile to West Belfast (which at the time was the only cinema in West Belfast!), and a series of other activities such as the school of falconry and literary events.

An Draíocht 2009 In December, we had another hugely successful evening at the former Andersonstown Barracks Site with a Christmas Concert with local bands, choir singing, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, stalls, and once again Santa being mobbed by hundreds of happy children (and adults!). Special guests included Barney, local GAA Camoges and local political figures amongst the many hundreds watching Féile’s Community Christmas Tree lights being switched on.

Rock Around the Christmas Tree

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Féile an Earraigh marked the third Irish Language School Choir Competition and this year we had schools from across Ulster, Downpatrick, Crumlin, as well as Belfast. This year’s prestigious winners were Bunscoil Naomh Pádraig, Downpatrick. We also had story telling, a family concert with art workshops, and a traditional Irish Schools Concert.

Irish Language School Choir Competition

The youth arts sub group continues to be an integral and essential ingredient in the success of the arts programme, and with the group organising and managing events such as concerts, fashion shows, and exhibitions; their responsibility is far exceeding our expectations.

Sainsbury’s Fashion Show

Activities and events in the pipeline which will be funded by Children in Need include radio dramas, a fashion show, youth dramas, investigative journalism, as well as continuing with the development of other projects such as the walking group.

This programme has been made possible primarily due to the funding we receive from the Big Lottery and they deserve credit for having the confidence - 15 -

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to invest in it. Credit must also be given to our other funders who see success at work and have decided to invest in it. They include Peace 3 – Building Positive Relations at the Local Level, and Children In Need. All of this work would not have been made possible without the time, energy and commitment invested by our young people, volunteers and the Youth Sub Group and all those who have supported the programme in various degrees. This includes community artists, sponsors, funders, the Féile Management Committee, to the groups we have worked in partnership with, and many other individuals whom there are too many to mention!! To you we extend our thanks and gratitude and hope that you continue to support our endeavours for the coming year.

Kevin Morrison Youth Arts Development Officer

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Drama Sub Committee – Fó-ghrúpa Dramaíochta

The Féile an Phobail Drama Sub Committee was established in May 2009 and includes playwrights, actors and representatives from theatre companies. Its remit includes deciding on the drama content for the four festivals that make up Féile an Phobail’s annual programme of events. During the year, representatives of the committee have also visited various sites to assess their suitability for staging productions and an audience development strategy was also implemented to coincide with the August Féile.

Scene from ‘Connolly’, Féile an Earraigh 2010

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Féile FM – 103.2

(2009 - 2010) Where are we now? Féile FM continues to provide an important and valuable service to the community; not only in offering individuals the opportunity to gain essential media skills, but also by presenting individuals or groups with a platform to express their views - and to be heard. Currently, the station has around 70 volunteers who collectively create up to 40 shows per week.

This is

substantial for any media organisation (not least a community-based outlet) and is proof of Féile FM’s commitment to provide opportunities in various areas of radio (from presentation to production) and for people from all walks of life. The volunteer body is truly unique, representing a wealth of talent and experience, across race, age, religion and gender. Attracting such a diverse and culturally-mixed group of people, is credit to the station and to the endeavours of its staff throughout 2009, Rosemary Whelan, Ryan May and Tom Clark; and to the volunteers themselves, who produce a vast range of quality programming, spanning many areas, from the arts to current affairs.

Securing the right people has been a key focus for the station and has provided the Administrator with a platform, to engage with and attract commercial interest. Over the past twelve months, a number of advertising contracts have been won. Outside of this, several fundraising events were organised and proved successful, not only in terms of raising funds, but also in building the station’s profile (the year ahead will see the Administrator and Creative Development Officer work closely together, to explore further advertising/funding opportunities).

Evidence of the station’s recent growth, can be found in its relationship with various event promoters and leisure contacts, including James Rollins, CDC Leisure, Aiken Promotions, The Ulster Orchestra and Movie House Cinemas (to name but a few).

In return for competition tickets, the station offers

airplay/studio interviews leading to mutually beneficial links.

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A true indicator of how the station has been performing is in the level of public engagement, which saw a dramatic increase in February 2010, with over 1500 people clicking the ‘listen live’ link, online.

Feedback to the studio also

climbed, with up to 500 mobile text messages and e-mails being received each month. Social networking has been a useful promotional tool for Féile FM, which currently has 1,218 Facebook members, and a dedicated following on Twitter.

Listen live / Twitter / Facebook links on

(2010 - 2011) Where are we going? The recent appointment of Creative Development Officer (Maura O’Brien joined in February 2010) will allow the station to tap into the diversity offered by the far-reaching volunteer pool, with the overall aim of enhancing and developing programming.

The post has already allowed for a number of

creative developments, including the installation of five new features into current show formats1, the initiation of four radio documentaries2 and the devising of four new shows3, including Charity Focus (where a group of charitable organisations will share a monthly slot to raise awareness of their work) and a re-vamped breakfast programme (the All Music No Fuss Breakfast), that offers an alternative to the heavily ‘talk-based’ format heard elsewhere.


Lunch with Lexy: ‘Writers Block’ & ‘Inside Beauty with Marcus’; Loose Talk: ‘In the Closet’; Musical Theatre: ‘Theme-Addict’; Girl Talk: ‘Grump of the Week’. 2 Behind the Music (a look at the people behind popular music compositions), Question of Faith (a documentary series examining different faiths) and Hard-hitting Belfast (a number of one-off shows considering anti-social behaviour etc. in the city). 3 Also fortnightly programme with Amnesty International and a request-based music-show entitled Jukebox.

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A number of creative proposals have been drawn up, highlighting crucial areas for improvement. A key priority for 2010 is expanding on the station’s already close relationship with the population of West Belfast, so Féile FM is familiar and recognisable to all of its’ members.

One radio project in

particular, ‘Stories from the West’, will showcase personal accounts of growing up in this part of the city. These short memories will be scheduled to play out each hour, after the speaking clock (in Gaelic). Another staple for future programming (and with the support of local businesses and organisations) will be a community news bulletin. As an extension of this community, Féile FM aims to reflect the work of local groups and serve the West Belfast public, by keeping them informed and educated about the community they live and work in. In order to cement this approach, a ‘listener survey’ will be devised and distributed, with the aim of providing solid barometers of where the station is successful in this area and where improvement is needed.

Left – right: Féile FM’s ‘Who wants to be a DJ?’; Duke Special Féile an Earraigh 2010 The station also has room to grow in terms of developing and reinforcing its position as a strand of Féile an Phobail, and as an outlet rooted firmly in West Belfast’s past. During Easter 2010 Féile FM will be dipping into the archives and will provide a full-week of programming based on old recordings. This is very important in reaffirming the station’s identity. Marking significant dates in the annual calendar in this way, gives the station the opportunity to continually build its profile and galvanise support. A very recent and successful example of this is the St. Patrick’s Day programming.

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The Féile team put together a four-hour ‘marathon show’ that incorporated five presenters, live music and a host of contributors, from ‘May McFetridge’ to Deputy Lord Mayor, Danny Lavery, and an exclusive interview with Fr Eugene O’Hagan (from the singing Priests). Reminding the community that Féile FM is placed to celebrate and commemorate with them, is very important.

However, the station’s role in representing and promoting Féile an Phobail will remain at the heart of its work. A special edition, Féile an Earraigh Highlights 2010 programme, was put together and aired one week after the festival (in February 2010) with Director, Sean Paul O’Hare offering commentary and insight throughout.

Individual recordings were also

scheduled across the week as stand-alone programmes and interviews were threaded into the normal programming.

Having proved successful, this

formula will be applied to the station’s coverage of upcoming festivals in May and August.

The year ahead will prove to be an exciting time for Féile FM. Continuing on from the station’s already excellent work in the area of media training, a series of workshops will be rolled out; the first of these, Production Techniques is expected to commence in April 2010 (led by Talksport Producer, John Chambers). Outside of this, the Creative Development Officer (who has a background as a journalist and producer) will identify and tackle skills gaps/training needs among the volunteer body, offering a combination of group or one-on-one sessions, as required. Féile FM recognises it has a duty to its volunteers, and understands that providing feedback is fundamental to their development. The Administrator has instigated a monitoring programme and devised measures, engaging Féile an Phobail’s Management Committee, for providing feedback. This will then be relayed back to volunteers.

Developing links and working in conjunction with educational institutions is also on this year’s agenda Meetings have already taken place with staff at St. Mary’s University College and Belfast Metropolitan College, both proving very fruitful.

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The latter for instance, has led to a link-up with HND Journalism students at Belfast Met. While plans are still in their infancy, the college has approved a work-placement scheme that could see the students working with Féile FM throughout the year - on a rotational basis. The provision of support during festival time for Féile an Phobail and Féile FM staff, could prove key to this relationship.

On a final note, the station invites you to view its newly designed website and is thankful to Robbi McMillen for his hard work on this project. Needless to say, a very special thanks to Féile FM’s volunteers, who in committing their free time and energy, are the backbone of the station.

Left – right: Presenters from ‘Girl Talk’ on Féile FM with special guests ‘Josie’ and Belfast Rose Milene Fegan; ‘Drivetime’ presenter Paul McCusker

Rosemary Whelan

Maura O’Brien


Creative Development Officer

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Oscailt (Disability Development) / Forbairt Don Lucht Míchumais Féile has just completed a really busy year that saw continued access to art and culture for the community of West Belfast and beyond. This year’s August Féile was fantastic and this was reflected in the support and messages of congratulations we received from our talented community who welcome and celebrate cultural diversity.

“The aim of Oscailt project is to enable both older people and those with disabilities to organise events and also to actively participate in the Féile an Phobail annual programme.”

From left to right: Beech-hall and Woodlands float with artists Danny D and Tony, Lower Falls Community exhibiting art effects of days gone by.

The year kicked off with various activities during Féile an Earraigh involving schools, professional performers and the wider community. Here the need for greater provision of mental health facilities and services was highlighted by the Smashing Times Theatre Company in association with Suicide Prevention and the Northern Area Public Health Agency. The highly acclaimed “Testimonies: Acting for the Future” was performed in schools and pupils actively participated in three dramatic monologues adapted from the experiences of those who have lost loved ones to suicide and from the experiences of those who have been through a suicidal crisis and survived.

Each performance was followed by a post-show discussion with a counsellor. Feedback from the young people showed there is a great deal of support for - 23 -

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using the arts as a means of tackling everyday problems. In all, 75 young people took part.

‘SONGBIRDS’- the First Ladies of Irish Song concert was performed by Fil Campbell and her band in Ballyowen centre and revisited the songs that formed the musical soundtrack to the 30’s, 40’s,50’s and 60’s - songs that where made famous throughout Ireland and the worldwide Irish community by Delia Murphy, Bridie Gallagher, Ruby Murray, Mary O’Hara and Margaret Barry. The audience (who had travelled both far and wide) really enjoyed the day and had no hesitation in singing along to all their old favourites. There was also a tremendous attendance from all the community at the many exhibitions on display during Féile an Earraigh.

Back by popular demand, ‘The Bus Run’ was staged again to a captive audience. Written and produced by Patricia Gormley and performed by the ‘70 somethings’ of Tearman Fold, this hilarious show about a day trip to Carlingford was not only thought provoking but also hilarious.

Other events in the Oscailt August Féile included:

sponsored walk in aid of a medical centre in Cuba

an information and awareness day from organisations such as RNID and ADAPT

carnival art workshops at Beech Hall facilitated by renowned artist, Danny Devenny, with the members of Beech Hall

“the big picture” – finger painting world record attempt in association with the Childminding Association

Screening of “Sign of our Times” – a sign language history of the deaf community in the North

Montague Day Centre Skittles Final

The Inaugural World Cribby Championship

Tea Dance - 24 -

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Makaton Bingo

Music Therapy

“Westwood’s Got Talent” with the inimitable Ivan Little

“Clash of the Tribes” Musical play

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Some of the performers and Ivan Little at Westwood’s Got Talent.

The year ended on a high note with a plethora of Halloween festivities such as “Halloween Hocus Pocus” with the residents of Tearman Fold, the Welcome Trust’s Arts and After School Fancy Dress and activities for ‘trick or treaters’ of all ages in the local shopping centres and schools.

In common with so many groups, Oscailt has felt the impact of cuts in arts funding. However, this has not stifled the innovation and creativity of the programme it offered throughout the year and I am indebted to all those I have collaborated with throughout the year, without whose help it would not have been possible to produce such a dynamic programme of events.

Féile will continue to play its part in encouraging a culture of tolerance, openness, and the free exchange of ideas and freedom of expression, through one of the best festivals in Europe!

Acknowledgements / Buíochas

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I would like to take this opportunity to pay special thanks to Oscailt Project funders Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, without their help and support this programme of events would not have been possible.

To all those who supported and assisted, day centres, groups, venues, staging, lighting, equipment, artists, performers, musicians, organisations, volunteers and community to name but a few. Many thanks and I look forward to working with you in the future.

To all the members and staff of the day centres, folds, R.V.H. for sick children, Adapt NI, Disability Sports NI, R.N.I.D, St Mary’s University College to name but a few, well done and thank you.

Margaret McKernan Disability Development Officer / Oscailt

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Drama and Exhibitions / Drámaí agus Taispeántais Another great success at August Féile 2009 was the huge collection of works exhibited by many local, national and international artists.

Each year you think there couldn’t possibility be such high quality arts to surpass the previous year’s exhibitions, which makes preparing for the next very daunting. However each year seems to take on a momentum of its own and is often driven by world affairs as artists continually challenge themselves by highlighting various global issues. Our local young aspiring artists continue to create works on a par with their more experienced counterparts.

Left - right: Gerry Adams MP with Gerry Collins, a keen amateur photographer who captured the burning of Bombay Street 1969; members of the public at the exhibition launch; Gerry Adams MP with the Kieron Magee and cast of The Young Guard of Erin drama.

Over the years, Féile has noticed an increase in older people taking an interest in the visual arts, with many participating in classes and producing works of such high standard that any gallery would be willing to exhibit.

Exhibitions this year included the unique photographical record of the aftermath of the Bombay Street pogroms of 1969 and the Guided Art Trail by ‘The Mill Artists Collective’. A young local artist also had the opportunity to hold her first photographic exhibit - ‘The Bogs vs. Japan’ whilst 'Republican Belfast: A Political Tourist's Guide’ provided the viewer with a unique and rare chance to see many of the wall murals under one roof. Furthermore, Relatives for Justice Art produced some outstanding pieces of work by their members many of which had never used a paint brush before. - 27 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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‘History of the Belfast Docks’ photographic exhibition Féile was also delighted to showcase the work of: •

Phu, a self taught Vietnamese artist from Ho Chi Minh City ‘World Political Icons’

Shankill meets falls cross-community Photography Initiative

‘Ship’ recorded living history of Deep Sea Dockers, their wives and children.

WheelWorks arts projects with young people including photographs by deaf teenagers from the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Digital images from Poleglass Bytes in West Belfast

Music from Northern Ireland Community of Refugees & Asylum Seekers and St Gerard’s Educational Resource Centre in West Belfast.

A selection of still life works by local amateur and semi professional artists from West Belfast

Local artist Raymond Watson whose work was produced in the Kalighat slums, Calcutta with the street kids.

Craftwork produced from natural products by several groups of local disadvantaged women to take them off the streets in Bangladesh by encouraging them to be self reliant and also promoting and applying Fair Trade principles.

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Local Irish Woman Artist Marie Simpson drew the attention of Irish President Mary McAleese with her fantastic ‘Seascape’ canvas paintings depicting the great majesty, strength and beauty of the Atlantic Ocean around the Donegal coast.

President Mary McAleese and Martin Mc Aleese admiring the artwork of Marie Simpson. Members of Twinspires Community & St Peters Senior Citizens displayed their unique handmade crafts celebrating home and family, and many other items from bygone days for visitors to see. The groups also give talks on the history of the Falls Road.

Many thanks to St. Mary’s University College & staff, not only in providing the venue but the enormous support from the staff. To the volunteers who help get the venue ready before the artists arrive. Thank you all so much!

Margaret Mc Kernan Disability Development Officer / Oscailt

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Discussion and Debate / Plé agus Diospóíreacht The Discussions & Debate Group directly organises or liaises with a variety of groups on issues mainly political or human-rights based. In our remit we include organising guest interviews, book launches, exhibitions, discussions on the media, equality, health, workers rights and compensation, the environment and internationalism, dealing with the past, human rights [including a lecture by President Mary McAleese], a talk and exhibition around the burning of Bombay Street in 1969, youth discussions and political films. Each year it is our desire to give the people of Belfast the opportunity of scrutinising local and international politics and current affairs and bringing speakers into the community to discuss and analyse a wide range of topics.

President Mary McAleese at St Mary’s University College and meeting the Féile an Phobail team

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Marketing / Margoíocht Sponsorship My main focus in 2009 was to ‘protect and grow’ in relation to sponsorship, protecting existing relationships in the first instance, and growing new ones in the second. 2009 was a strong year for sponsorship. We retained our key Community Partner and main sponsor Inbev Ireland (now re-branded to Tennent’s). We also retained full support from our Cultural Partner Foras na Gaeilge, despite the budgetary pressures within their department. We also achieved a significant boost by adding a new Community Partner sponsor, Sainsbury’s. In addition to this we achieved significant investment through a new partnership with the Fire & Rescue Service, while also adding a number of smaller sponsors and achieving increased investment from existing sponsors such as Total Produce, Westwood Shopping Centre and the Kennedy Centre. Overall sponsorship revenue grew by 25% over the previous year. Through our partnership with Arts & Business we secured Reach investment monies for our InBev sponsorship, where they matched InBev’s contribution to the value of 50%. We also achieved Reach monies for our Sainsbury’s sponsorship, where they matched Sainsbury’s contribution to the value of 50%. Overall, this saw an increase in Reach investment monies of 35% over 2008.

Sean Paul O’Hare and Jeff Tosh – Sean Largey and Claire Fitzsimons Tennents NI Sainsbury’s Only a couple of Féile’s sponsors!

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Marketing 2009 saw us win an Aisling Award for the first time, in the category of

Outstanding Contribution to Culture and Arts, we were also shortlisted for the Go Belfast Awards, and shortlisted in four categories for the Arts & Business Awards.

Events Manager Jenny Gillespie and Marketing Assistant Emma Heatley at the GO Belfast Awards 2009 2009 was a great year for PR. Our press PR coverage grew by circa 120% over that achieved in 2008, to a total print press value of £388,333.88 positive PR coverage. In addition to this we secured significant additional PR coverage on TV, radio and online.

2009 saw the successful delivery of four festivals; Féile an Earraigh, Laugh at the Bank Comedy Festival, August Féile and Draíocht Halloween Festival. Our advertising strategy was successful, utilising radio, press, billboards and online. Our radio, billboard and press advertising was executed nationwide, north and south. Our evaluations have shown that the media mix, together with word of mouth and PR, did have a significant impact on our audiences.

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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2009 saw us re-brand the Féile an Phobail visual identity and logo for the first time since its original conception in the 1980s. Our new visual identity was arrived at following a consultation and input from artist Robert Ballagh, Féile management and staff and our design partners Mitchell Kane Associates. The new visual identity was implemented throughout, on our new website, pop-up stands and signage.

Original Féile an Phobail branding

Féile an Phobail logo for August 2009 on. 2009 saw us write, design and produce 100,000 August Féile brochures, 20,000 Féile an Earraigh brochures, 10,000 Draíocht brochures and 10,000 Comedy Festival flyers. This represents a major area of focus in our promotional strategy. Yet again the brochures were of superior design and excellent quality.

We would like to especially thank Séan Mitchell, and the team at Mitchell Kane for the tremendous work which they put into these brochures, often against very challenging timelines. We would also especially like to thank our Chairman Danny Morrison for the enormous contribution he makes towards the scripting and copy writing of these brochures.

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

Féile an Earraigh Brochure 2009

Laugh at the Bank Brochure 2009

Draíocht Brochure 2009

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August Féile Brochure 2009

Féile an Earraigh Brochure 2010

2010 is set to be another challenging year in economic terms. To date this year we have attracted and secured two new sponsors for 2010 namely; Belfast Harbour and NIEA (Environment Agency).

We are very much looking forward to embracing the year ahead; we have a strong and growing position in the marketplace, which we will capitalise on throughout the year to deliver another successful series of festivals and programmes.

Elsie McLoughlin Marketing and Sponsorship Officer - 34 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Online Marketing – Margaíocht Ar-líne

Féile an Phobail

Over the past year, Féile an Phobail has completely overhauled its online presence – be it on our home website, or our official social and community networking accounts.

A brand new website was unveiled shortly before the large August festival, featuring the fresh, new branding and presenting the new lease of life that was aimed for across the board. The new website allows the community to share their opinions and reviews and to interact, making it a focal and engaging part of Féile an Phobail’s ethos and belief in solid community outreach.

Féile FM

As an innovative and fresh community radio station, the new Féile FM website required functionality and a way for the community to outlet its thoughts and interests, particularly in the arts. We completely redesigned the website and re-wrote content, also adding comment functionality, better listen live - 35 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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features, photo gallery, discussion forum, advertising module and free downloads which will, in turn promote Féile FM via the community in workplaces, homes and organisations. The website is also available fully i nGaeilge, seans cupla focal a fhoghlaim – a chance to learn a few words for some! The Féile FM podcast will be arriving mid-April and has already been signed-up and syndicated to the global Apple iTunes service. Our blogs are automatically ‘pinged’ to Google and over 50 other networking sites to spread the news and events that presenters and volunteers would like to share. Social Networking

We worked tirelessly in 2009 on spreading our presence, taking it further than our main websites. For example, within one week, six hundred people had become fans of our page on social network Facebook, producing great interactions from Ireland, Britain, the United States and across Europe. We are now promoting Féile an Phobail and Féile FM on more than 12 websites.


Since the launch of our new website (stage one) and finished website, Féile an Phobail has seen a huge increase in online traffic, thanks to the hard work of the whole team – everyone has donated time and input to the online projects. In the period April 2009 – March 2010, our main website alone has had over 95,500 page views, a proud achievement for us. We are confident that this trend of online growth will continue and that it will greatly aid the organisation in its community efforts, especially in light of those in the online and local communities who helped make us Aisling Award-winners – tá muid an-bhuíoch as bhur gcairdeas!

Robbi McMillen IT and Graphic Design - 36 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Finance and Administration / Airgeadas agus Riaracháin 2009 continued to be a busy time for the Finance and Administration Department with a significant proportion of our time spent assisting with a large number of funding applications and evaluations. We also witnessed a marked improvement in our financial position over the year and appreciate the efforts of the Féile an Phobail staff for their efforts in securing both private and public funding and for adhering to the financial policies and procedures that were introduced last year. Thanks are also due to sponsors and funders for their financial support over 2009.

Some significant changes were also made to the way in which we sell tickets for events. All tickets are now available to purchase online ( and we also introduced a barcode system in our Teach na Féile outlet. Apart from being more timely and cost effective, this system also reduces the possibility of error and enables us to analyse information in greater depth.

We also welcomed Conor Mc Keating to the Finance and Administration team following his extremely impressive placement on the Steps to Work programme. Conor is responsible for reception duties and ticket processing and we are grateful for all his hard work since coming on board. Thanks are also due to our Administrator, Theresa Doyle, for her dedication, commitment and support over the year.

In closing, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for Féile an Phobail to win the Aisling Award for Culture and Arts in November. We were both delighted and proud to be acknowledged in this way.

Cathy Kelly Finance and Administration - 37 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Audited Accounts / Cuntais Iniúchta Féile an Phobail Limited

Balance Sheet For the Year ended 31 March 2009 2009 £


2008 £



Fixed Assets Tangible Assets Current Assets Debtors Cash at Bank and in hand

15308 20858 36166

41389 4474 45863



Creditors: amounts falling due within one year

Net Current Liabilities Total Assets Less Current Liabilities Net Liabilities

(57912) (8967) (8967)

(130542) (85878) (85878)

Funds Restricted Income Funds Unrestricted Income Funds

1800 (10767)

(65766) (20112)




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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Féile an Phobail Limited

Statement of Financial Activities For The Year ended 31 March 2009

Unrestricted Funds INCOMING RESOURCES Incoming Resources from generating Funds: Voluntary Income Activities for generating income Investment Income TOTAL INCOMING RESOURCES RESOURCES EXPENDED Charitable activities Governance Costs TOTAL RESOURCES EXPENDED NET INCOMING/OUTGOING RESOURCES FOR THE YEAR/NET INCOME/(EXPENDITUR E) FOR THE YEAR RECONCILIATION OF FUNDS Total Funds brought forward TOTAL FUNDS CARRIED FORWARD

Restricted Funds

Total Funds 2009

Total Funds 2008

61096 110597

491016 -

552112 110597

446358 131851

3 171196


3 662712

1 578210

(160378) 1973 162351

(423450 ) 423450

(583828 ) 1973 585801

(597914 ) 2049 599963













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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Local Committees and Organisations working with Féile / Coiste agus Eagraíocht áitúil ag obair le Féile Aitnamona Féile Committee/An

Clonard Monastery/Clonard

Chultúrlann Mac Adam - Ó Fiaich/An

Residents Association/Colin Reach

Munia Tober – Belfast

Out Project


Colin Residents Group/Community

Community Forum/Andersonstown

Change/Community Restorative

Contemporary and Traditional Music

Justice, Ireland/Conor Rise Féile/

School/Andersonstown Féile

Conway Community Enterprises

Committee/Ardmonagh Family and

Conway Education Centre/Coolnasilla

Community Centre

Féile/Corpus Christi Services

Ballymurphy Féile

Corpus Christi Youth Centre/Cumann

Committee/Ballymurphy Gateway

na Méirleach/Cumann na nÓg

Club/Ballymurphy Residents

Cupar Street Féile

Association/Ballymurphy Women’s

Divis Community Centre/Divis Drop-

Centre/Ballyowen Day Centre

In Centre/Donegal Celtic

BASE (Ballymurphy Activities, Sports

Dubbeljoint/Dunville Féile

and Education)/Beech Hall Day

Committee/Dwyers GAC


Fáilte Feirste Thair/Falls Community

Beechmount Community

Council/Falls Forum

Project/Belfast Exposed/Belfield

Falls Women’s Centre/Fallswater

Heights Féile Committee/Black

Centre/Féis Gleann an Lagáin

Mountain Environmental

Filipino Sports Association/ Flanagan

Group/Blackie Community

School of Dancing

Group/Brook Activity Centre/Brook

Forfar Street Féile Committee/Frank

Children Together

Cahill Resource Centre

Broom Park Féile Committee/Bullring

Frank Gillen Centre/Friends of Falls



Carnival Chaos Artists/Carrickhill

Gaelscoil na bhFál/Glasvey

Féile Committee/Chinese Welfare

Residents Association

Association/Clann na Ulaidh

Glen Parent and Youth Support/Glen Women’s Centre - 40 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Glenalina Féile

Monagh Féile Committee/Monagh

Committee/Glengoland Residents

Parade Féile


Naíscoil na Fuiseoige/New Barnsley

Gort na Móna CLG/Gort na Móna


Féile Committee

Newhill Féile Committee/Norfolk Féile

Greater West Belfast Community


Group/Grovetree House

O’Donnells GAC/Oifig Fáilte na

Halfmoon Lake Square

bhFál/Oliver Plunkett Disabled Care

Festival/Hawthorn Residents



Oliver Plunkett Community

Hawthorn View Féile

Development Agency/Open Arts

Committee/Hazelwood Avenue Féile

Our Lady’s Hospital


Patrick Davy School of Music/Pobal

Holy Trinity Family Centre/Holy Trinity

Poleglass Concerned Residents

Youth Centre

Group/Poleglass Residents

Horn Drive Community Centre


Ireland Palestine Solidarity

Relatives For Justice/Riverdale Féile

Campaign/Iris Drive Féile Committee


Iris Mews Féile Committee/Iveagh

RNID/Rock Street Féile

Féile Committee

Committee/Rodaí Mac Corlaí

La Salle Park Féile


Committee/Ladybrook Féile

Rodaí Mac Corlaí Writers

Lagan Valley Education

Group/Roden Street Community

Project/Lagmore Residents



Ross Road Féile/Rossa GAC

Lakeglen Féile Committee/Lenadoon

Sean McDermott’s CLG/South Antrim

Community Forum

GAA Board

Link Association/LINK Project

Springfield Charitable

Lower Andersonstown Féile

Association/Springhill Community

Committee/Lower Andersonstown


Mothers Support Group/Lower

Springhill Féile

Monagh Féile Committee

Committee/Springmadden Féile

Mandarin Speakers’


Association/Coláiste Feirste/Medi-

St Agnes Parish Centre/St James


Forum/St John’s CLG - 41 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

St Paul’s GAC/STEPS/Stockmans Féile Committee Suffolk Community Services/Suffolk Day Centre Tar Anall/Tullymore Féile/Turf Lodge Gateway Club Turf Lodge Residents Association/Twinbrook Celebration

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Mica Drive Centre/Middle Andersonstown Féile St Mary’s University College/St. Oliver Plunkett Parish Colin Walking Group Colin Neighbourhood Partnership Belfast Basque Solidarity Committee Artsekta

Partnership Upper Andersonstown Community Forum/Upper Monagh Féile Committee Upper Springfield Community Forum/Upper Springfield Development Trust Upper Springfield Youth Network Vere Foster Primary School Welcome Trust/West Against Racism Network/West Belfast Access Group West Belfast Area Project/West Belfast Economic Forum West Belfast Parent and Youth Support Group/West Belfast Partnership Board/West Belfast Social Club/West Belfast Taxi Association Westrock Parent and Youth Group/Whiterock Children’s Centre Whiterock Community Centre/Whiterock / Westrock Residents Association Willow Bank Youth Centre/Woodlands Day Centre - 42 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

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Funders Sponsors 2009 / Urraí 2009

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Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

- 44 –

Funders Sponsors 2009 / Urraí 2009

- 44 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

- 45 –

Funders Sponsors 2009 / Urraí 2009

- 45 -

Féile an Phobail

Annual Report 2010

- 46 –

Féile an Phobail 473 Falls Road Gaeltacht Quarter Belfast, BT12 6DD TEL: 02890 313440 FAX: 02890 319150

Produced and designed by: Emma Heatley and Robbi McMillen

- 46 -

AGM Report 2010  

Féile an Phobail Annual General Meeting Report 2010; for the year January 2009 - January 2010.

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