Féile an Phobail this week – RHI, Harold Good, unity, unionism, and drama #feile17

Féile an Phobail is well underway and this week’s remaining programme includes a rich programme of talks and drama.

Slugger’s own deputy editor David McCann is chairing a discussion about RHI and the Media in St Mary’s University College at 1pm on Tuesday 8 August. Panellists Allison Morris (Irish News) and Sam McBride (News Letter) will be stoking the wood pellets along with questions from the audience. Free.

Rev Harold Good is in conversation with journalist Brian Rowan at 3pm on Tuesday 9 in the Falls Road Library. Come along to this free event to hear about his role in peace processes and decommissioning on this island, the Basque Country and Colombia. Free.

St Mary’s University College will host a conversation around Imagining a New Ireland between Colum Eastwood (SDLP), Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Féin) and Mark Daly (Fianna Fáil) at 7pm on Tuesday 8.

Padraig Coyle’s new play Mixed Messages tells the story of Teddy Gillespie (a former Belfast Celtic player and war time radio operator) and Gunnar Nyborg (a Norwegian seaman and businessman) who struck up an unlikely friendship during WW2. Watch a selection of scenes and enjoy a pint or a glass of wine for £7 at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8 in McEnaney’s Bar. (Tickets sold at the door.) Mixed Messages will also be playing in Royal Naval Association Club (79 – 81 Great Victoria Street – open to members and non-members) at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 and in the Strand Arts Centre (Holywood Road) at 7.30pm on Thursday 10.

Laurence McKeown’s play Green & Blue [review] is back in The Felons Club on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 at 7.30pm. Based on an oral archive, James Doran and Vincent Higgins bring to life the work of a Garda officer and an RUC officer on either side of the border during the height of the Troubles. Tickets (£10) for this thoughtful and respectful drama can be booked online.

Eamon Phoenix, Susan McKay, Sophie Long and Chris Donnelly, chaired by Andree Murphy, will dissect the notion – or reality – of A Declining Unionist Majority at 1pm on Wednesday 10 in St Mary’s University College. Free.

West Belfast Talks Back will once again be hosted by St Louise’s College from 7pm on Wednesday 10, with Noel Thompson keeping the panel in check: Ray Bassett, Alex Kane, Patricia Mac Bride, Michelle O’Neill, and a yet-to-be-announced representative from the DUP.

Author of Democracy Now! Amy Goodman will talk about grassroots movements that have been challenging the ‘establishment’ across the globe at 7pm on Friday 12 in St Mary’s University College. From the standoff at Standing Rock, to Black Lives Matter activists, those fighting for peace, climate justice, migrant rights, and LGBTQ equality.

Finally, it’s time for something completely different. Not quite how this one sneaked into the Discussions and Debates section of the programme, rather than the entertainment section!

US lobbyist Stephen Bassett devotes his time to confronting the US Government on the existence of extra-terrestrials and their presence on Earth. His aim is to end the 68-year embargo of classified information relating to alien activity while pressuring higher political authorities to disclose these findings to the public. All will be explained in his Disclosure Initiative talk … unless the men in white coats get there first! Thursday 11 at 5pm in St Mary’s University College. Free, but tinfoil hat advised.

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