Northern Ireland news

Gerry Adams provided 'heavenly voice' in Belfast nostalgia play

 Actors Jo Donnelly and Martin Maguire (right) during a performance of Tony Devlin's play, 'A Station Once Again'. Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association
Michael McHugh, Press Association

GERRY Adams was the most recognisable person to provide a "heavenly voice" at a play celebrating 30 years of the West Belfast Festival, the director said.

The owner of one of Northern Ireland's best-known voices was enlisted to record a piece about the history of the community event.

A Station Once Again evokes memories of past summers through the sounds of community radio's Triple FM/Feile FM.

The former Sinn Féin president's heavenly voice invites some to jump the queue from limbo to heaven, director Tony Devlin said.

He added: "We were trying to think, who could we get from West Belfast who people knew?

"We shot for the moon and got to the stars."

Actors Jo Donnelly and Martin Maguire (right) during a performance of Tony Devlin's play, 'A Station Once Again'. Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association

The piece is set in limbo and features two characters from West Belfast who were highly involved in the festival at the beginning and were given the chance to skip to the top of the waiting list for heaven.

The celestial intervention was necessary to allow them to do a Triple FM community radio broadcast for the 30th anniversary of the festival, Mr Devlin added.

The play, by the Brassneck Theatre Company, featured two main protagonists, Fra and Bridie, who really wanted to get to paradise.

It began set in 1988, a time of intense unrest.

Actors Jo Donnelly (left) and Martin Maguire (right) with writer and director Tony Devlin (centre). Picture by Liam McBurney, Press Association

Mr Devlin said the festival, which was deliberately scheduled for August, was a chance to get away from the bonfires and riots of the time and was about promoting a more positive image of the community.

Feile evolved into what organisers describe as Europe's biggest community festival and has expanded to also include unionist voices and create cross-community ties.

It hosts an all-unionist discussion later this week - a Warm House For Unionists?

Ex-Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has lent his voice to a new play. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: