04/21/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
Irish pop star Sinead O'Connor withdrew from an Aug. 6 Belfast festival, saying Catholic organizers told her not to speak out against Irish Republican Army violence. Organizer Caitriona Ruane denied O'Connor's allegations. "At no time did we say that she could not speak about any issue," Ruane said. The annual Peoples Fest is held in the IRA stronghold of west Belfast. "I am sure my fans will understand my action -- as they know me well by now," O'Connor said.