Derry councillors could be set to vote on recognising an independent Catalonia

Spanish National Police prevent people from entering a voting site at a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 1 Oct. 2017. Catalan pro-referendum supporters vowed Saturday to ignore a police ultimatum to leave the schools they are occupying to use in a vote seeking independence from Spain. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Spanish National Police prevent people from entering a voting site at a school assigned to be a polling station by the Catalan government in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, 1 Oct. 2017. Catalan pro-referendum supporters vowed Saturday to ignore a police ultimatum to leave the schools they are occupying to use in a vote seeking independence from Spain. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Derry City and Strabane District Council could be set to formally recognise an independent Catalonia after a Sinn Féin councillor signalled her intention of bringing a motion to that effect before the next full Council meeting on October 26.

Caoimhe McKnight indicated she would be proposing a motion that the council back the “democratic outcome of the Catalan independence referendum” and condemn “the brutality of the Spanish police” during last Sunday’s referendum in Iberia.

Colr. McKnight will also seek a mandate to “write to the Catalan and Spanish Governments to outline the Council’s support for Catalan Independence”.

Speaking during chairperson’s business at a meeting of the council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee on Tuesday, she said: “On Sunday the world witnessed shocking scenes of police brutality in various parts of Catalonia. Peaceful citizens who were protecting the integrity of polling stations were struck down and savagely beaten. Reports are suggesting that nearly 900 people have been injured.

“Children and adults were beaten off the streets and fired upon. This is unacceptable in any society. The disturbing images of frail elderly citizens being assaulted by heavily armed Spanish police will be impossible to forget.

“Solidarity rallies were held in Derry, Belfast and Dublin as local people wanted to show their outrage at what had gone on.”

Promising to move a pro-independence proposal at full council later this month, she said: “The international community and the European Union in particular, must now support the people of Catalonia in forging their own independent political path in Europe.”