Snowballalert heeded

The Principal of St. Joseph’s Boys’ School in Creggan has written to Derry City & Strabane District Council to advise councillors pupils have been warned about the dangers of snowballing cars during periods of cold weather.

Saturday, 2nd March 2019, 8:00 pm

Mrs. McCarron was responding to a circular letter issued to all schools in the City and District after SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack raised concerns about snowball attacks on care workers a month ago.

At yesterday evening’s Full Council meeting for February details of the St. Joseph’s principal’s response were submitted to councillors for information.

In her letter, Mrs. McCarron wrote: “In terms of the concern raised we will continue to highlight the dangers of this type of behaviour with our pupils as we have done already during the recent bad weather.”

She went on to advise that the matter was also be discussed with local parents.

“We will also continue to liaise with parents and guardians to highlight the concerns raised.”

The issue was originally brought up by Colr. Cusack at the Full Council meeting for January after a period of heavy snowfall across the North West.

Colr. Cusack had informed the Full Council meeting that she had received complaints from a number of constituents.

This, she said, had included care workers, in particular, who had been targeted by youths throwing snowballs at their vehicles “whilst trying to navigate treacherous roads to reach patients under their care”.

Colr. Cusack stated that “she was not demonising young people, however their actions could result in injury or worse”.

Neither did she single out any particular school in her comments.

The SDLP representative, instead, proposed a motion at the January meeting that DC&SDC “write to the Secondary Schools in the Council District asking them to discuss this issue with the students in whichever manner they felt was appropriate to highlight the dangers of this type of behaviour and ask them to stop”.

This motion was seconded by her party colleague, Colr. Brian Tierney, before being unanimously approved by the local authority.

A circular letter was thus issued to all schools in the Council area asking them to warn their pupils of the potential dangers and consequences of snowballing passing vehicles.

At yesterday afternoon’s Full Council meeting for February, only one response, that of Mrs. McCarron, had been received and passed on to councillors.