High-flying Labour MP drops in at Cultúrlann

It’s Balls on the Falls

By Francesca Ryan

S HADOW Chancellor Ed Balls has become the latest dignitary to visit West Belfast. Mr Balls was in the North yesterday (Wednesday) on a fact-finding mission with Shadow Secretary of State Vernon Coaker MP.

They began their whistlestop tour in the heart of the Gaeltacht Quarter, An Chultúrlann, and following a tour of the building and some engagements, they then went on a famous Taxi Trax tour joined by local Sinn Féin councillor, author and historian Tom Hartley.

Local tourism development agency Fáilte Feirste Thiar organised the trip, which saw the duo meet MLA and Junior Minister at the Executive Jennifer Mc Cann, who took the opportunity to discuss issues affecting the constituency and to outline exciting regeneration and investment plans. Féile an Phobail Director Kevin Gamble  outlined Féile’s upcoming 25th anniversary celebrations in 2013, and Eimear Ní Mhathúna, Director of An Chultúrlannm, led the delegation on a short tour of the building and outlined how the Irish language contributes to the uniqueness of the West Belfast offering.

“Today’s tour is a key part of our ongoing work of making influential people aware of our very rich tourism offering and indeed of our unique community approach,” said Harry Connolly of Fáilte Feirste Thiar.  “We were delighted to host Ed Balls and Vernon Croaker today, we have no doubt they enjoyed their short visit and hope they will be back again soon. But more importantly, we hope they share their positive experience of West Belfast and help to make An Cheathrú Gaeltachta a must stop for anyone visiting the city.”

After meeting Executive leaders at Stormont, Mr Balls was asked what they had to say to him. He replied: “What I’m hearing from leaders here is that they want action, they want help now,” he said.

Like his boss Ed Miliband, Mr Balls was lukewarm on the question of Labour running candidates here.

Tags: , , , , ,

A vital change

THEY say it was a peaceful Twelfth. That   children’s faces painted with offensive slogans, marchers breaking the law, verbal and […]

Rolling out the red carpet

For those of us who believe Ireland is a country of six million and a nation of 70 million, the […]

Unionist walk-out was no surprise

PLATFORM: By Seán Murray The disengagement from the current talks process by political unionism came as no great surprise to […]

Badly in need of democrats

They say the Scottish independence movement is having success on at least one front: they’re rounding up people who haven’t […]

Happy Twelfth?

The Twelfth will soon be upon us again. Festivals in most places make people wish each other Happy Fourth, Happy […]

Boney advice is so much hot air

TAKE a look at this thing on the right. It’s got to be 80 feet high and its core is […]