Ulster Fleadh organisers condemn video of sectarian chanting and say it wasn't at their event

The video was posted on TikTok Credit: Pacemaker

Organisers of the Ulster Fleadh have condemned a social media video showing sectarian chanting at an event in Co Tyrone and say the event is unrelated to their festival.

It was alleged the video was filmed at an Ulster Fleadh event in Dromore.

In a statement the Ulster Fleadh Exeuctive Committee said: “This afternoon the committee of the Ulster Fleadh was made aware of a video which was posted on social media which included chants referencing the IRA. As a committee, we wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the content of the video and express our sadness and anger at what was visible and audible from the footage.

“The footage was taken at an event unaffiliated with the Ulster Fleadh in a public premises in Dromore, County Tyrone and was in no way part of the event of programme.

“The Ulster Feladh is proud to be a positive celebration of culture and we have worked hard to build relationships across all communities in our society. Indeed part of the Fleadh programme this year included marching bands from different traditions and this is something we believe is central to bringing communities together and highlights our shared rich musical and cultural heritage.

“If any member of An Comhaltas is identified to have participated in this chant or any other sectarian activity, our Committee will take steps to ensure this is dealt with in the strongest possible terms.

“This sort of incident has no place within the promotion of culture, does nothing to build trust and relations across the communities, and the Ulster Fleadh Executive Committee has no hesitation in condemning it in the strongest terms.”

DUP MLA Deborah Erskine welcomed the comments

"I had written to the organisers of the Fleadh and I not only welcome their swift reply, but the unequivocal condemnation of the what took place in the video. I recognise that the video was recorded at an event unaffiliated with the Fleadh, but it obviously was recorded in Dromore during that week,” she said.

“The organisers have shown clear leadership and they must be congratulated. Their promise to take action against any member involved in "this chant or any other sectarian activity" will also be welcomed by everyone.

"I would echo completely their words that this sort of incident "does nothing to build trust and relations across the community". I hope the leadership of the Executive Committee will be followed by all political representatives, just as other incidents of sectarianism and intolerance recently have been condemned by all parties.

“There is a particular onus on political representatives who have glorified and eulogised members of the IRA. Such actions only serve to offer justification to people such as those in the video that it is somehow acceptable to engage in this behaviour. There is an opportunity now however to follow the leadership from others and distance themselves from this kind of behaviour."