A message from Donal O Kelly re PALFEST IRELAND

More than a quarter of a century ago, I was privileged to be involved with a large group of artists from all artforms in Ireland working on what became The Parade Of Innocence, 9 December 1989. More than 400 actors, musicians, visual artists, technicians came together to celebrate the INNOCENCE of the Birmingham Six, 15 years in jail, and known to the public only by their police mugshots then. It was a turning point. 10,000 people marched through Dublin in an assertive carnival of protest, throwing off the “IRA stooge” labels pinned on miscarriage of justice campaigners at the time. It was a massive undertaking, and succeeded thanks to the voluntary effort and expertise of hundreds of people, mainly working in the arts.
The same vibe is at work now, I’m pleased to say. PalFest Ireland is a coming together of the Irish arts community in support of the Palestinian people, 8-11 July, timed to recall last summer’s Israeli assault on Gaza that left over 2100 Palestinians dead, including 535 children. If you have expertise in event management, production management, visual art, location management, curatorship, event administration, or if you’re an artist or group with an idea you’d like to bring to PalFest Ireland, get involved at http://www.palfestireland.net – it’s called net because we’re casting the net out and inviting your involvement and support. If you are involved with, or associated with an organisation that would like to help, connect them up. It can be as big as you make it. Repelling the manufactured hesitancy about highlighting British miscarriage of justice cases was necessary in 1989. Repelling the manufactured hesitancy about highlighting Israeli injustice against Palestine is necessary now. Let’s do it Ireland, now we know we can do anything!


Donal O Kelly