Former Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said welcoming Syrian refugees to the city was the highlight of her time as First Citizen.
Colr. McCallion officially passed the mayoral chain to newly elected Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock during the council AGM in the Guildhall on Monday evening.
“I am deeply affected by the crisis in Syria and the plight of the refugees and particularly the families with young children,” said Colr. McCallion.
“I felt that I was in a very unique position as Mayor of the city and district to take a step forward and do something to help.
“With the help of local people and organisations from across the city we successfully set up a Mayoral refugee campaign to create awareness of the issue, and raise much needed money and supplies for those in need and I am delighted that just a few weeks ago we welcomed a number of families to live in our city.”
Colr. McCallion added: “It was a very special moment for me to meet with the families and to hear at first hand their stories. I am pleased that they are living in our community and successfully integrating among us. People from Derry and Strabane are very unique in their generosity and kindness and that is very evident in the way they have opened their hearts to welcoming the refugees.”
Colr. McCallion was Mayor from April 1, 2015 to June 6, 2016, she will now take a break from council before returning to constituency work in the coming weeks.