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Local community celebrates Christmas

Published: Wed, 9 Dec 2015
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Pictured (l-r) Stephen Pollock (Greater Shankill ACT Initiative), NI Manager Michael O’Neill, Amanda Ashe (Housing Executive) & Paul Ferguson (West Belfast Athletic & Culture Society).
Shankill group
The Shankill Road was lit up for Christmas thanks to a little help from us, West Belfast Athletic & Culture Society, Greater Shankill ACT and the NI Manager, Michael O’Neill.
Despite the dire weather warnings, the local community came out in force to support and enjoy the family fun night which culminated with the switching on of the Christmas tree’s lights.
The night built on previous successful events and aimed to enhance community relations, the community’s festive spirit and support local traders. The Christmas tree which was lit will act as a light of hope to those who live, work and socialise in the area throughout the 2015 Christmas season.
Our local Good Relations Officer, Amanda Ashe, commented:
“We were delighted to support this initiative which is aiming to develop local community relations. You could certainly feel a bright, uplifting festive spirit during the event and I commend everyone involved in putting it together.”  
Michael O'Neill switching on lights.
Michael O'Neill switching on the lights
Paul Ferguson of West Belfast Athletic & Culture Society, said:
“Our Christmas event proved an excellent opportunity to extend the hand of friendship beyond the immediate area and further develop community relations as well as support local traders.
“We were delighted Michael O’Neill took time out of his busy schedule to switch on the lights and I’d like to extend my thanks also to Greater Shankill ACT for their hard work in helping us put together this event. I’d also like to thank the Housing Executive’s Cohesion team for their support.”
The evening had something for all the family, in addition to the big switch on there was music to entertain and a chance to browse for that perfect gift as local traders opened up and put out stalls. Around 350 people came along and joined in welcoming the Christmas season to the Shankill Road.