Complaints filed over Fleadh band’s remarks on British

Sinn Fein says there is no place for sectarianism at cultural events

Police in Northern Ireland are investigating two complaints regarding a musical act at the Ardoyne Fleadh alleged to have used "hate" speech.

The Druids were performing for a crowd at the Belfast event when they made references to a desire for the British to go "back to England where they came from".

The incident has sparked criticism including from Sinn Féin, whose councillor Jim McVeigh said any such remarks were wrong.

“Sectarianism is wrong and it has no place at music or cultural events,” he said.


In an online video of the Sunday night performance, one of the band members tells the audience they are aware of the presence of “over 5,000 British soldiers parading around the streets of Ireland as if they own the place”.

“It’s about time that they took down their little union jacks. It’s about time that they got all their orange comrades together. It’s about time that they loaded up the bus and it’s about time that they all f***ed off back to England where they came from.”

Reports carried on the incident have said complaints relating to the alleged hate incident were made by the DUP and TUV parties.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Leinster Leader newspaper, the band said the remarks had been taken “out of context”.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times