From the archives - July 31 1987

Unionist boycott ends - The three years boycott by Unionists of Derry City Council was effectively ended on Tuesday night when four DUP councillors remained in the Council Chamber for the duration of the meeting and fully participated in the debate. Tuesday’s meeting was the first public meeting they have fully attended since the boycott and was also the longest meeting in recent years. DUP councillors Annette Hamilton, Eillis Allen, William Hay and Gregory Campbell were present in the Council chamber for the entire meeting. Before it was adjourned, colrs. Hay and Campbell had tabled two motions which were subsequently defeated. They refuted comments by SDLP colrs. Pat Devine that they were greatly confused about whether or not to take part in Council again. Colr. Devine said the DUP couldn’t make up their minds what to do and commented that their performance in the Council chamber on Tuesday night had proved very interesting.

Alternative strategy needed now - Derry Trades Council has renewed its call for an open forum to discuss an alternative economic strategy for the north west in the wake of the closure of the National Supply Factory at Maydown. The Trades Council has also re-stated its view that a Regional Development Board must be established to counter the huge unemployment problem facing the north west. In a statement, the Trades Council secretary, Conal McFeely, said the closure of the National Supply Factory, only weeks after the “arbitrary closure” of Consolidated Micrographics in Limavady, demonstrated the harsh reality of the injury upon the already distressed local economy. Stating that all the National Supply workers now face the likelihood of long term unemployment, Mr McFeely said the north west, with its already diminished engineering base could not afford to lose the expertise of such workers and in an attempt to save such skills, the Trades Council wanted the City Council, the Foyle Development Organisation, the Civic Group and all interested groups and individuals to come together in an open forum to discuss the need for an alternative economic strategy for the north west.

‘Thirty goose steps to the right of Adolf Hitler’ - “Fascist,” “totalitarian” and “thirty goose steps to the right of Adolf Hitler” was how DUP and Sinn Féin members of Derry City Council described a motion passed at last month’s meeting of Council in their absence. The proposal, supported by the SDLP, stated that any person removed from the Council chamber for disrupting business should not be allowed to attend future meetings. It was passed at last month’s meeting following the removal from the public gallery of a DUP supporter who was attempting to disrupt Council business.