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Derry City Council turned down Freedom of City call for Nelson Mandela

Foyle Sinn F�in MLA Raymond McCartney speaking at Friday night's candlelight vigil for Nelson Mandela. (1012MM18)

Foyle Sinn F�in MLA Raymond McCartney speaking at Friday night's candlelight vigil for Nelson Mandela. (1012MM18)

Derry City Council twice voted to refuse to give the Freedom of the City to former South African president Nelson Mandela.

The issue was debated by Council in 1986, while the ANC leader was still in prison, and again in 1990 after his release.

On both occasions, motions calling for the honour to be conferred on Mr Mandela were tabled by Sinn Féin.

In February 1986 a motion to hold a special meeting to discuss the issue was passed despite attempts to block it by the SDLP and independents.

Two SDLP councillors voted in favour of the motion while the rest abstained.

At the meeting in March, the motion to confer the Freedom of the City on Mr Mandela was defeated by 15 votes to five with the SDLP voting against it.

In February 1990 the Council congratulated Mr Mandela on his release but months later in June, the Council again declined to offer him the honour after a Sinn Féin proposal was blocked by the SDLP and unionists.

 

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