More funding for community festivities - Hassan

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan.

Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan.

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Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan has called for more funding to be allocated to local communities to mark August 15th following the success of bonfire-free celebrations across the Greater Shantallow area.

Mr Hassan praised the organisers of a string of festivals and festivities across the region over the months leading up to the events at the weekend.

Colr. Hassan said: “For the first time in many years the area was free from bonfires.

“It was good to see the hundreds of young children and parents attending or taking part in these excellent events.

“The organisers of these festivals and the many volunteers who helped out behind the scenes must be applauded for their sterling work over this past week.

“What these festivals have proven is that there is other ways to celebrate the 15th of August other than bonfires, which makes a mess of our areas.”

Mr Hassan added: “I would call on Derry City and Strabane District Council to have a look at providing additional funding for festivals to community groups in the greater Shantallow area and the wider city in general as this year has proved that there is an alternative to the negative custom of bonfires.”

The Earhart Festival at the weekend was among the festivals staged across the Greater Shantallow and Galliagh areas, with the grand finale event taking place in the grounds of St Paul’s Primary School at the weekend.

The festival- which was under threat because of funding issues- has been hailed as a great success.

Organisers said of the Earhart Festival’s ‘Speaking to the World, Cultural Carnival Day’:

“A great day was had by all, even the sunshine decided to join us for the day.”

As well as storytelling and musical interactive workshops, there was also a concert , face-painting, marquees.

Irish dancers were joined on stage by Asian-inspired dance performances, and local singers and musicians as well as local disco dancing troupes.