Unionists have condemned the singing of a pro-IRA chant on the final night of the Feile An Phobail festival in west Belfast.
Social media footage showed the crowd chanting “Oh, ah, up the Ra” as the Wolfe Tones played their annual gig on Sunday evening at Falls Park.
The festival, which receives public funding, has been criticised in previous years when similar scenes occurred.
A final weekend drenched in squalid, vile sectarianism. Divisive, hurtful, with glorifying of terrorism. This isn't progress- it is the shame of Belfast. There must, must be those who support the festival who are embarrassed by this cringe sectarian ending every year? 🤷 #Féile
— Emma Little-Pengelly BL (@little_pengelly) August 13, 2023
DUP MLA Emma Little-Pengelly said the chanting at the event was the “shame of Belfast”.
She tweeted: “A final weekend drenched in squalid, vile sectarianism.
“Divisive, hurtful, with glorifying of terrorism.
“This isn’t progress – it is the shame of Belfast.
“There must, must be those who support the festival who are embarrassed by this cringe sectarian ending every year?”
TUV leader Jim Allister said the festival had degenerated into a “terror fest”.
He added: “The fact that shamefully the Charity Commission failed to act against such glorification of terror under the auspices of an organisation it continues to accept as a bona fide charity, guaranteed this deliberate insult to IRA victims.
“The fact that this festival continues to be lavishly funded from the public purse adds to the hurt and insult endured by the victims of terrorism.”
The Feile’s organisers and the Charity Commission have been contacted for comment.
THE BIGGEST AND BEST FÉILE EVER!
This year you welcomed the world to West Belfast.
You danced and sang and laughed and enjoyed everything Féile has to offer.
Thank you for making Féile an Phobail the largest Community Arts Festival in Ireland.
You are all amazing! Féile Abu! pic.twitter.com/H7vxg1SWwV
— Féile an Phobail (@FeileBelfast) August 14, 2023
A tweet from Feile an Phobail said the festival had been the “biggest and best ever”.
The tweet added: “This year you welcomed the world to West Belfast.
“You danced and sang and laughed and enjoyed everything Feile has to offer.
“Thank you for making Feile an Phobail the largest Community Arts Festival in Ireland.”
Singer-songwriter Phil Coulter and former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn were among those who took part in this year’s festival.