Ilex reiterate stance over Gaza Peace Bridge protest

The Peace Bridge
The Peace Bridge

The head of Derry’s urban regeneration company Ilex has reiterated their opposition to the ’human chain’ protest over the violence on the Peace Bridge.

Ilex chief executive Mel Higgins said that while they had “no opinion” on what Derry Anti-War Coalition had planned to do, no-one had sought their permission to hold the event, as was required.

Gaza under attack

Gaza under attack

Derry Anti-War Coalition however have said they will press ahead with their planned arm-link protest along the length of the Peace Bridge.

The event was organised in support of the Palestinians after more than 200 people in Gaza- mostly civilians- were killed by the Israeli army over recent days.

The Derry protest is scheduled to take place this Saturday at 2pm.

However in a statement issued no Friday afternoon, Mr Higgins said: “Ilex is responsible for the management and operation of the Peace Bridge and Ebrington.

“The company has a policy in place for third party events at Ebrington, incorporating the Peace Bridge.

“Third parties wishing to use Ebrington or the Peace Bridge are required to approach Ilex to gain written permission to use either space. No such approach has been made by Derry Anti-War Coalition (DAWC).”

In his statement, Mr Higgins pointed to Ilex policy, which reads: “Ebrington and the Peace Bridge will not be made available for events where there is a perception that such events represent displays of sectarian or racial aggression, represent exclusion or calculated sectarian triumphalism, facilitate the inappropriate display of flags and / or emblems or seek to stereotype others on the basis of cultural identity”.

He added: “Ilex forms no opinion on DAWC’s proposed event. The company seeks to uphold its policy to advance the development and use of shared spaces.

“We remain open to discussion with all third parties wishing to organise events at Ebrington or on the Peace Bridge.”