Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody has lent his support to the campaign to boost business in Belfast city centre.
The musician, whose song Take Back the City is being used as the tagline for the Twitter appeal, made clear his pride that the song was part of a plea to support local business.
Tweeting to more than 117,000 followers, Gary said: “Very proud our song about Belfast is being used as part of the campaign for peace and sanity. #TakeBackTheCity”.
The campaign began officially on Thursday with an open letter to those across Northern Ireland from managing director of Botanic Inns Stephen Magorrian.
As the trade body Pubs of Ulster warned that as many as 300 jobs in bars across the city could be lost by the end of the week, Mr Magorrian said it was “unacceptable” that the reputation of a great city was being destroyed along with its economy.
Expressing his respect for the right to peaceful protest, he said: “I believe that most of us agree that the violence on our streets is unacceptable and that we all wish it would stop.
“Regardless of where you live in Belfast, your religion or your beliefs, we are all affected by the current unrest and decline in our economy.
“And now more than ever we all need to stand shoulder to shoulder and support our city and those dependent upon it for their livelihood.”
While it was up to the politicians to develop a solution for the protests, he said it was possible for everyone to make a difference to help the city.
“How?” the letter continues: “Well it’s simple and quite enjoyable! We need you to go into your city centre and support the bars, restaurants and shops with your custom.
“Whether it’s a pint in a pub, a meal in a restaurant, a cup of coffee in a cafe or a treat from a local shop – you will make a huge difference.
“If we don’t support our city centre jobs will be lost. The city centre that we love will become a ghost town and nobody wants to see that happen.
“If we continue to leave our city early, stay at home and only support the city via Facebook and Twitter then, honestly, we’re wasting our time. The city needs YOU in person.”
Accepting that money may be tight, he said there were many offers to make a night out more affordable.
He said: “We live in an amazing city and we’ve so much to be proud of and celebrate this year.
“So please let’s all visit a pub, a restaurant or a shop this weekend and raise a glass (or your shopping bag) to Belfast.”
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