Galway artists unite in anger over loss of Palestinian lives

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

The response from Irish artists to the loss of Palestinian life in Gaza over the last two months has been vociferous. As it stands, at least 17,700 Palestinians have been killed during the conflict and, as coverage of the ongoing attacks dwindles, the arts community in this country show no sign of quietening in their solidarity.

Last month, a letter signed by over 100 Irish artists was sent to US President Joe Biden calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and access to humanitarian aid to be granted to the Palestinian people.

Among the Galway signatories were Pauline Scanlon, Shampain, Hannah Hession, The Disconauts and Rob Rua. The project was organised by Sadaka Ireland, an Ireland Palestine alliance group.

It joined appeals like Writers for Palestine, which held an event in Nuns Island Theatre last Sunday, and Gig for Gaza, which featured Lankum and the Mary Wallopers in the 3 Arena on November 28.

Fiona Fitzgerald is the co-ordinator of Sadaka and based in Galway, where the response among local artists has been ubiquitous.

“The solidarity in sight and in action among artists within Galway in support of the Palestinian people has been immense,” Fiona insists.

“I have had the privilege of liaising with artists who have chosen to adapt events into opportunities. Rob Rua, Hannah Hession and the Ar Ais Arís team, for example, hosted gigs in the west end that invited speakers and donations. Subsequently, they connected Sadaka with artists who wished to sign the letter to President Biden.

“It is this intersection of political activism, creativity and community that is distinct to Galway and is central to achieving change.”

President Biden’s ties to Ireland were cemented earlier this year when an estimated 27,000 people gathered to hear his public address in Ballina, the ancestral home of his family. Sadaka, and the artists signing their open letter, felt he was an appropriate recipient.

Pictured: Shampain…Galway DJ is among the local signatories.



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