A Derry community worker has warned that Derry is being stripped of jobs and investment following the announcement of 300 new jobs for Belfast.
Tommy Mullan from Galliagh Residents’ Association said that in terms of employment, Derry was getting “sweet nothing” compared to Belfast. Mr Mullan said: “Week after week you are hearing of jobs all going to the one place and that place is Belfast. We have people here that are well educated and could do those jobs.”
“We are looking at a very bleak year,” he added. “You only have to look around the town and see the shops closed. The money is not there, the people haven’t got it to spend and when you think of a young family in Galliagh, Creggan, the Bogside, who is looking out for these people?
“Where is the so-called committee that was set up to look into the North West region and sharing out jobs? There is no sharing of jobs at all.
Mr Mullan said that low turn out during recent elections pointed to people feeling disenfranchised and disillusioned.
“How much can people really take?” he asked. There’s definitely going to be no change here at all. Any jobs on the market, the jobs are going to be in Belfast. Young people here leaving school know there is very little hope of getting jobs. Give young people jobs and you will have very little anti-social behaviour.”
Mr Mullan said something needed to be urgently done to address the vacuum left by the demise of the manufacturing industries that powered Derry’s economy in decades past.
“This city has been stripped bare over the years,” he said.
Mr Mullan called for plans for major development sites in the city to be advanced as quickly as possible to ensure the opportunity for hundreds of new jobs is not missed.