From the ‘Derry Journal’ of Friday, March 7th, 1986

Unionism on violent road - Former Mayor of Derry, SDLP councillor John Tierney said that unionist politicians were offering no leadership away from increased tension and more violence in the city. He said that as far as OUP leader Jack Allen and DUP leader Gregory Campbell were concerned, it was clear that one did not know where he was going and the other knew only too well - towards violent confrontation leading to UDI. Colr. Tierney went on; “On Monday we saw a so-called strike which amounted not to a legitimate expression of a political point of view but to systematic thuggery. Under the leadership of Mr Allen and Mr Campbell we had masked men at roadblocks, we had people intimidated on their way to work, we had businesses and workplaces attacked, property damaged and people hurt.”

Angry exchanges at council meeting - A Sinn Féin motion calling on Council to confer the Freedom of the City on jailed African Congress leader Nelson Mandela was defeated at a special Council meeting when it failed to get the backing of the 13 SDLP councillors and two independent unionist councillors in attendance. At last September’s meeting of the Council the SDLP proposed and supported a motion calling for the immediate release of Nelson Mandela. Sinn Féin therefore anticipated their support for their latest motion and were, they said, “gravely disappointed” when it did not materialise. Sinn Féin felt that the SDLP opposition to their motion reflected a “petty and vindictive mentality” while the SDLP described it as “commonsense.” SDLP Colr. Teresa Coyle, while re-affirming her party’s total opposition to apartheid said the SDLP could not support the motion. The citizens of Derry would not appreciate someone being given the Freedom of the City until they themselves had freedom to go shopping without being bombed or shot, freedom to go to work without being kidnapped or intimidated, freedom from unjust courts, kangaroo or otherwise, and freedom from all types of violence.

Be moderate, forgiving and loving - The Bishop of Derry, Most Rev Dr Edward Daly, has called on young people to be forging, loving, and tolerant in 1986 - the International Year of Peace. In his homily at the Derry Diocesan Renewal and Youth and Young Pioneer Day Mass, Dr Daly told the young people that their greatest interest had to be peace. Dr Daly commented - “Violence and injustice which are the enemies of peace and the primary sources of conflict in our world are the result of a lack of moderation - a lack of tolerance - a lack of consideration for others. True peace can only come when there is proper respect for every human person, whether that person is male or female, black, white or yellow, Christian of non-Christian, Protestant or Catholic, rich or poor.”