Shantallow’s community comes first in the life of Brian

Colr. Brian Tierney. (DER0314PG016)
Colr. Brian Tierney. (DER0314PG016)

Newly co-opted Derry City Councillor Brian Tierney doesn’t mess about when it comes to freeing up time to represent the people of his area.

With the ink still drying on his declaration form, the latest member of the SDLP’s Derry City Council team handed over a resignation letter to his employer in order to focus all of his attention on working for the people of Greater Shantallow.

“I’ll always be on hand to deal with queries from the people of the Greater Shantallow area and the newly created Ballyarnett ward – devoting myself full time to the role will allow me to work to the best of my ability to solve any problems or provide helpful advice. I’ll be out on the ground in the area meeting with members of the community and can always be contacted through the office of Colum Eastwood, MLA.”

Having been heavily involved in community work, the married father of four knows only too well the issues facing people in his area. He also has political pedigree, following in the footsteps of his uncle, John Tierney, who served as both a councillor and MLA in Derry over a period of 32 years.

“I’m a father of four children who understands the needs of people in the Greater Shantallow area. In particular the lack of adequate social housing is an issue -the figures on the waiting list are so high at the minute it seems that the list is endless.”

He added: “Working to curb anti-social behaviour is also a top priority for me on Derry City Council. I’ll be doing this through projects I’m already involved in such as alley gating and working closely with the Community Safety Team. It’s important to give people who have been plagued by the scourge of anti-social behaviour what they deserve and that is a peaceful night’s sleep every night of the week and the peace of mind that their property will be intact when they wake up.”

A “key focus” for Colr Tierney is the provision of adequate youth services in the area.

“The youth provision in Galliagh is shocking. As a parent this is a hot topic for me and so many others in the area. Derry City Council is responsible for offering all of our children an outlet. Related to this will be the plans for a new Templemore Sports Complex and I would urge people to let their views be known on what they want to be included in the planned new facility.”

He added: “There is also a massive drugs problem and it needs to be tackled head on. It’s important that we as councillors do what we can to address the issue on various levels. The problem of a lack of addiction services only seems to be mentioned when there is a tragedy in our community but it is always there and must be addressed. We must take a cause and effect approach – the provision of addiction services is vital but it is equally important that there is early intervention to address what is a fundamentally a social problem.

A “big part” of addressing the social problem will be job creation, Colr Tierney said. “It’s up to everyone on council to come together to sell the city to investors and promote the great skill sets of our young people.”

The newly appointed councillor says he has already “got his teeth” into working on these problems in his community and is hopeful of making “good inroads” in helping to address them as part of Derry City Council ahead of standing in the Ballyarnett Ward in the very first Derry and Strabane elections on May 22.