AN Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, will be in West Belfast this Friday to launch Féile an Phobail’s 30th anniversary festival programme at an event in St Mary’s University College on the Falls Road.

Announcing the Taoiseach's attendance, Féile Director Kevin Gamble said: “We are delighted that the Taoiseach will be coming to West Belfast on Friday 8th June to launch our 30th anniversary programme of events.

“Féile an Phobail began in 1988 at a time of intense conflict and tragedy here in West Belfast.

“Féile from its outset has sought to display and showcase the positives of West Belfast and the incredible talent and creativity in this community.

“Féile has also worked hard to provide young people with alternatives away from bonfires and the trouble that occurred in August each year.

“Over the years, Féile has developed enormously and is now the biggest community festival in Europe, with hundreds of events taking place throughout the course of the festival.

“We have concerts, drama, art exhibitions, debates and discussions, lectures, carnival parades, parties in the park, with an attendance of over 100,000 for our events.

“This year is a particularly exciting year for Féile with it being our 30th year, and also because for the first time we will be holding four open air concerts in the new Falls Park event space with a capacity of 10,000 people.

“Olly Murs will be appearing in concert at Féile this August and is one of the big highlights of the festival.”

Kevin said Féile were delighted to have Tánaiste Simon Coveney deliver a keynote speech at their Good Friday Agreement 20 Years On event in April and added that "it is fantastic to announce now that An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will be launching our 30th anniversary programme of events".

“This will be a very popular event and we will be working hard to ensure it is a great success.”