Calls for Wolfe Tones to be banned from Feile over pro-IRA chanting

The Wolfe Tones
The Wolfe Tones
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There have been calls for an investigation after pro-IRA chanting was heard at a publicly-funded community festival in west Belfast for the second year running.

Irish rebel music band The Wolfe Tones played a headline gig in front of more than 10,000 people at Feile an Phobail in Falls Park on Sunday night.

The Wolfe Tones gig at Feile Phobail in Falls Park, west Belfast

The Wolfe Tones gig at Feile Phobail in Falls Park, west Belfast

Videos have emerged of the band leading the crowd in chanting ‘Up the Ra’ and ‘F*** Your Union Jack’.

The incident has sparking anger from unionist politicians, who have called for the Wolfe Tones to be barred from future festivals.

Last year’s performance by the band also caused controversy after Tricolours daubed with IRA slogans were flown by the crowd.

The principal funders of the event are the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Tourism Northern Ireland.

DUP Councillor Dale Pankhurst said funding for the festival needed to be looked at.

“I am deeply disappointed that the organisers have not learned from the concerns raised previously and have taken no steps to prevent a repeat of what happened last year,” he told the News Letter.

“How can anyone possibly say this is an inclusive event, when many of those in attendance seek to glorify terrorism and spit in the faces of victims?

“Normalisation of this type of language is wrong and it has to stop.

“The lyrics in these songs were put there to offend people, and this cannot be allowed to continue. The Wolfe Tones should be banned from performing at this event. They’ve already had one chance and they chose to do it again.”

UUP Alderman Jim Rodgers branded the incident “unacceptable and disgraceful”.

He added: “As far as I am concerned there is going to have to be an investigation into what took place. It was at a council venue and after what happened last year there were assurances that this would not be allowed to happen again.

“If we are going to move forward as a society we must learn to respect each other rather than glorifying what happened in the past.

If this was a band that would be seen as being close to loyalist paramilitaries and they were coming out with offensive tunes, I would be saying exactly the same thing.

“This has happened two years in a row and I intend to raise it withe the council’s chief executive.”

The News Letter has approached Belfast City Council for comment.

We also attempted to contact the organiser of the festival but without success.

On Saturday night, the Feile hosted one of its biggest ever concerts as Boyzone took to the stage for their last ever gig on the island of Ireland.