Just days after Arlene Foster pledged never to support an Irish language act, the Ulster Herald can reveal that her party colleague and Communities Minister Paul Givan refused to meet with Comhaltas, despite handing out over £300,000 in funding to bands, predominantly from the loyalist marching tradition.
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) promotes traditional Irish music and culture all over the world. It has around has 8,500 members across Ulster, with its regional headquarters based at the Dun Uladh centre in Killyclogher.
However, it receives just £34,000 in annual funding from the North’s Arts Council.
A spokesperson for Mr Givan’s Department, said the DUP minister could not meet the Irish music organisation “due to diary commitments”.
Brendan McAleer said Comhaltas simply wanted to put across its case for funding with the minister. He also claimed that a further request for a meeting has remained unanswered.
The revelation has fuelled further ire from Sinn Féin’s Barry McElduff, who claimed the move “is part of the wider political problem – the disrespect for the Irish national identity and culture”.
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Posted: 9:32 am February 10, 2017
THE Coalisland Clonoe Comhaltas Branch held a very successful 2016 Spring Féile over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.