Donnelly: ‘All we have now is better slums’

The Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson pictured at Wednesday's meeting in the Maldron Hotel. DER0315MC067
The Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson pictured at Wednesday's meeting in the Maldron Hotel. DER0315MC067

A veteran rights campaigner and local SDLP Councillor has called on people at community level to come out and support the threats to public services.

Speaking from the floor at the meeting in the Maldron Hotel, Unison representative Anne Donnelly said that that much of what people fought so hard to secure during the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and 70s was now being eroded.

“My working life and trade union life started a long time ago,” she said. “We started off in the city here fighting for houses, for jobs, a better education system.

“Before, for people with learning difficulties, money was no object, we looked after our pensioners, we looked after anybody that needed help, and we fought for and we got a Housing Executive.

“We fought hard and we achieved an awful lot.

“When I sit and look back now, all we really have now is better slums.”

She said that there was now an awful lot of anger among people on the ground and that a message needed to go out to politicians that “enough is enough”.

“We must go out to the community and get them out for 13th March,” she said. “We must get every Tom, Dick or Harry and their dog out into Guildhall Square on 13th March. If the community don’t come out it is lost- lost to those with special needs; lost to the elderly.”

Colr. Donnelly said she would be urging her party to come in support of the public sector workers and in defence of services.

She added: “As a councillor when I hear people coming in giving figures, then the next day you read in the paper this is closing or that is closing..... I think if we are really that much of a cost to them, then line the 60 plus up and shoot them because you are killing them every other way.

“Our pensions are getting cut, this is getting cut, that is getting cut, and we have to get the communities out on 13th of March.”