Derry and Strabane council says ‘no’ to Trident

One of the Royal Navy's 16,000 ton Trident-class nuclear submarine Vanguard. Photo: PA Wire
One of the Royal Navy's 16,000 ton Trident-class nuclear submarine Vanguard. Photo: PA Wire

Derry and Strabane Council has voted by a majority to write to the Ministry of Defence to warn them that Trident would not be welcome in the city.

Derry and Strabane Council has voted my majority to write to the Ministry of Defence government warning that Trident would not be welcome in the city.

Standing orders were suspended at the suggestion of Independent Councillor Darren O’Reilly at Thursday’s monthly meeting of the full council.

Colr O’Reilly said that the council needed to make it clear that Derry is a “no nuclear zone”. His comments came after Lagan Valley DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson suggested last week that the replacement for Trident could be located on the Foyle.

Colr O’Reilly said that Derry’s legacy council had a no nuclear policy going back decades and warned that the island of Ireland was known for its neutrality.

He said Trident would be dangerous for local people and the whole area and the nature of the estimated 10,000 jobs that would come with it would not be welcome in the city.

“I think we need to put a message out today that the Foyle is not for sale,” he said.

His motion was supported by all Sinn Fein, SDLP and independent Councillors present while the minority DUP and UUP Councillors present abstained.

Earlier UUP Councillor Derek Hussey queried why it was being discussed as it was a reserved matter for the Ministry of Defence.

Backing the motion, Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly said: “We don’t want weapons of mass destruction, we don’t want to be associated with that.”

He said that the Council area had previously stood up for human rights and against Raytheon adding that any proposal to bring Trident “would be a stain on this city”.

SDLP Colr Martin Reilly suggested the council write to the Ministry of Defence outlining their opposition and that the MP fir Foyle Mark Durkan had been vocal in his opposition towards Trident.