All-Ireland Fleadh snubs Shell as a festival sponsor
Ireland's biggest traditional music and culture festival has snubbed energy giant Shell after environmentalists kicked up a storm over sponsorship from the company.
Organisers of the All-Ireland Fleadh, which pulled in 450,000 visitors to Londonderry last year, took the last-ditch decision to reject money from the oil company after they were accused of prostituting themselves.
The Shell to Sea group claimed Irish President Michael D Higgins was being put in an awkward position by officially opening an event even though he has spoken out in favour of communities affected by Shell's controversial Corrib gas project in Mayo.
Activists claimed organisers, Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, had reneged on their ethos of promoting peace by accepting money from Shell.
But yesterday, Comhaltas said it had decided to return the money to the energy giant "to avoid any unnecessary distractions" before the festival starts on August 10 in Sligo.