‘Republican chants’ at event spark DUP ire
The DUP has called for a review of how entertainment licences are issued after republican chants caused offence at an event in Derry.
Alderman Graham Warke raised the matter at Derry City & Strabane District Council’s October meeting. He previously told Council’s Health & Community Committee that the alleged chanting had occurred at a recent public entertainment for which a Council licence was issued.
“When these licences are given out and these events cause offence to people in the district can we just make sure the officers involved in handling licences in future for public events be aware of this here and stop this from happening in future?” he asked on Thursday.
DC&SDC Chief Executive John Kelpie replied: “Certainly, in terms of the event in question it was not a Council event, but generally speaking we can look at the conditions upon which licences are issued and the conduct within.”
While condemning the chanting referred to by Ald. Warke, SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney said: “I don’t see how we can expect officers who are issuing a licence to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. Unless we are asking that the officers are in attendance at this event which I don’t think is within our Council remit within our Standing Orders.”
Independent Councillor Gary Donnelly said: “What happened was individuals who attended the event. We can’t blame the people who run the event or try to curtail the licence in future.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson asked: “Do we put licensing on events that can take place in hotels? We are verging into dangerous territory.”