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Northern Ireland anthem by Ulster Orchestra, Women's Aid, and NI Opera gives a voice to abuse victims


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The Ulster Orchestra has combined with Women's Aid, and Northern Ireland Opera to launch White Ribbon, a collaborative anthem co-written by pianist Ruth McGinley and song-writer Duke Special. (stock photo)

The Ulster Orchestra has combined with Women's Aid, and Northern Ireland Opera to launch White Ribbon, a collaborative anthem co-written by pianist Ruth McGinley and song-writer Duke Special. (stock photo)

The Ulster Orchestra has combined with Women's Aid, and Northern Ireland Opera to launch White Ribbon, a collaborative anthem co-written by pianist Ruth McGinley and song-writer Duke Special. (stock photo)

The Ulster Orchestra has combined with Women's Aid, and Northern Ireland Opera to launch White Ribbon, a collaborative anthem co-written by pianist Ruth McGinley and song-writer Duke Special.

It reflects the voices and experiences of women affected by domestic abuse, and also supports the work of the White Ribbon campaign.

This was formed in London, Ontario in 1991 by male students in Canada following the 1989 massacre of 14 women in a Montreal engineering school.

Derry-born Ruth McGinley, the award-winning pianist who herself experienced what she described as a "toxic" previous relationship, said: "With over 8,000 incidents of domestic abuse reported to the PSNI during lockdown from April to June in 2020, and five domestic homicides in the past year, we believe that staying silent on this issue is not an option."

The powerful words of the anthem are sung by Jolene O'Hara and Northern Ireland Opera associated artists.

She said: "Every lyric means something special to each of these women whatever situation they are in."

Duke Special added: "This is vital and it's great to be involved."

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The single is available on Bandcamp and streaming services from today.

A live video of the performance of the White Ribbon anthem in the Waterfront Hall is also being released.


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