Standing orders suspended to allow Councillors to address bomb in public

A motion to oppose last week’s bomb attack failed to win unanimity after British Army and IRA violence in the past was raised by Councillor Sean Carr.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 6:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:01 pm

Councillors were meeting in private yesterday to prepare for the striking of the rates but standing orders were suspended to allow them address the recent disruption publicly.

Sinn Féin Colr. Sandra Duffy initially proposed a motion that the Council ‘oppose the recent attacks and call on those responsible to stop their actions immediately’.

But this was amended by Colr. Carr to include the proviso that all violence, whether carried out by the State or those opposed to the State, in the past and present, was wrong.

Colr. Carr, an Independent from the SDLP gene pool failed to find a seconder from among the Republican Independent bloc with which he sits but was backed by SDLP Colr. Martin Reilly.

He said: “I signed up to the principles of John Hume twenty years ago. I’ve always been opposed to violence no matter where it came from.”

The Moor councillor’s motion passed on a knife edge with 18 councillors for and 18 against. Colr. Carr was supported by the DUP, SDLP, UUP and fellow ex-SDLP Independent Patsy Kelly, with Sinn Féin and the Republican Independents on the Council opposing the motion. The Mayor of Derry & Strabane, Colr. John Boyle, decided the matter with his casting vote.

Colr. Duffy said she had hoped to achieve unanimity with her motion by using the word ‘oppose’ rather than ‘condemn’. She said: “The conditions that existed 40 years ago do not exist today.”