Agenda and minutes

Special Meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council (Open)
Monday 16 July 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Guildhall, Derry. View directions

Items
No. Item

SC32/18

Notice and Summons of Meeting

Minutes:

The Mayor read the Notice and Summons for the Meeting.

 

SC33/18

Member Attendance and Apologies

Minutes:

The Chief Executive completed the roll call.

 

Apologies were received from Aldermen Devenney, R Hamilton and Ramsey and Councillors Campbell, Carlin, Cusack, Gardiner, D Kelly and McMahon.

 

SC34/18

Declarations of Members Interests

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

 

SC35/18

To Discuss the Current Situation in the Bogside and Fountain Areas of the City

Minutes:

Councillor Reilly stated that the SDLP had called the Special Meeting as it was the only opportunity, in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly, to meet as Elected Representatives and say to the people of the Bogside and Fountain areas and to those who have had their work vans hijacked, that Council stands with them and that those acts of violence are not supported by Council.  He stated that the strength of feeling of anger and frustration from local residents was evident at the recent public rallies and by statements from church leaders, trade unions, the local Chamber of Commerce local community activists and An Tánaiste and Mrs Arlene Foster MLA who had visited the City over the weekend.

He stated that the meeting was not about condemnation as some had attempted to portray it.  He stated that it was to make clear to those who fire guns and throw petrol and blast bombs that such activities did nothing for the City, or indeed, the country.  Criminalising vulnerable young people was no way to a United Ireland or a peaceful, stable society.  He referred to remarks made by Bishop McKeown at a recent rally that, ‘If there is one lesson that the people of this City have learned over the years, is that violence and destruction do not help anyone.  They do not advance any cause.  You cannot claim to love your country and at the same time, cause pain and destruction to the people who live there’.

He emphasised that it was important to recognise the amount of good community work being undertaken both for, and with, young people in the Bogside and beyond.  He stated that people had come together as peers across the sectarian divide to learn more about each other.  He added that the Foyle Cup and the Foyle Maritime Festival were demonstrable ways of showing that so many of Derry’s young people were doing positive things and were a credit to the City and District.

Continuing, Councillor Reilly said that he welcomed the fact that over recent nights there was a marked decrease in violence in the Bogside and Fountain Estate.  He paid tribute to the work carried out by all community activists who had been involved in making that happen.  He stated that he recognised that for the PSNI, the task of striking a balance between under policing and over policing had been difficult.  He stated that officers had been in a direct line of fire to keep people safe and that the SDLP did not want to see any type of bullets, plastic or otherwise, being fired on the streets.  He stated that while the ‘tap’ of the violence seemed to have been turned off, he felt that all Members should be able to unambiguously commit to ensure that it did not re-occur.  He further stated that the underlining conditions that lead to some people feeling marginalised and with little hope for the future had to be addressed.  He emphasised  ...  view the full minutes text for item SC35/18