Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council have formally backed Catalan independence.
The local authority has thus become one of the first democratic bodies in the world to formally recognise the results of the Catalan independence referendum earlier this month.
A proposal by Sinn Féin Councillor Caoimhe McKnight "that Derry City and Strabane District Council writes to the British and Irish governments asking them to formally recognise the democratic outcome of the Catalan Independence Referendum, condemns the brutality of the Spanish police and calls on the Spanish Government to respect the democratic wishes of the Catalan people as expressed in the referendum", was backed by republican councillors, including lndependent Colr. Paul Gallagher who donned a T-shirt emblazoned with the Catalonian separatist flag, the 'estelada', in the Guildhall chamber on Thursday.
Col. Gallagher and other independent republicans backed the Sinn Féin motion with the former withdrawing a similar proposal "that this Council writes to the British and Irish Governments asking them to recognise the legitimacy of the Catalonia referendum held on the 1st. October, 2017 and to call on the Spanish Government to respect the democratic wishes of the people of Catalonia who have called for full sovereignty and self-determination for the state of Catalonia".
An SDLP amendment "that Derry City and Strabane District Council condemns the brutality of the Spanish police in the recent Catalan independence referendum and supports the right of self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter for all peoples to choose the best form of government that suits their needs; further supports the right of Catalonia to have a full and fair independence referendum; calls intervention from the European Union to resolve the crisis in Catalonia," fell having won only SDLP and unionist support.
The SDLP abstained from voting on Colr. McKnight's motion while unionist councillors voted against.