Pro-Palestine protesters target Riverdance

RIVERDANCE is being targeted by pro-Palestine campaigners who are opposed to the dance company’s plans to tour Israel later this summer.

A demonstration is planned outside the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin for the opening night of the show’s month-long return to the capital, beginning on June 28.

The protest is being organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign in support of the second Freedom Flotilla which will begin its journey to Gaza that day with aid supplies in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade of the port.

Riverdance is scheduled to perform nine shows in a fortnight in the Israeli cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa in September.

The trip has already caused controversy with the show’s set designer, artist Robert Ballagh, announcing he will boycott it by refusing to travel with the troupe and donating any royalties due to him from performances in Israel to the Freedom Flotilla fund.

Fintan Lane, co-ordinator of the Irish ship taking part in the flotilla, said he was not involved in organising the Riverdance protest but was pleased the issue was being raised and did notbelieve it risked alienating support from the Irish public who have long been huge Riverdance fans.

Mr Lane said: “This has been well thought-out. It’s not just about waving placards around. The issue of a cultural boycott of Israel is based on the same principles of the campaign against apartheid.”

A spokesman for Riverdance said he could not comment on the planned demonstration as he had just heard about it and had not yet spoken to the producers of the show about it.

The crew of the Irish ship taking part in the international Freedom Flotilla, the Saoirse, are being introduced to the public today.

The crew includes Irish MEP Paul Murphy, former Leinster rugby player Trevor Hogan, several councillors and various activists, volunteers and supporters.

They will make their way to the Mediterranean this week and join 10 other ships assembling there on June 27 for the joint trip to Gaza.

In May last year, a similar aid flotilla of six ships was confronted by Israeli security forces while still at sea and nine members of the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, were killed.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Coveney: Former politicians should forfeit their pensions

Taoiseach leads emotional tribute to McEntee

Commission fears low turnout in referendum

Kenny: Public sector numbers need to fall faster


You might also like

Breaking Stories

ECJ rejects plain packaging on cigarettes challenge

Unlikely to be a vote for Taoiseach until next week says IA Michael Fitzmaurice

Intel workers unsure of their future

Woman forced to lick beans off floor in domestic abuse incident

Lifestyle

The host with the most...Graham Norton has a busy schedule with the Baftas and Eurovision on his cards

Nicci Taylor is looking for life and love on the road

Should couples ask for cash as a wedding present?

Make sure your dream home doesn't become a nightmare

More From The Irish Examiner