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Councillor News

  • Andrew Muir
    last Friday

    Alliance North Down Councillor Andrew Muir has reported to police allegations the UDA held a meeting at a community centre in North Down.


    The claims, which were brought to light earlier this week on BBC's Spotlight programme, alleged a meeting at which self-confessed UDA commander Dee Stitt was present was also attended by DUP Councillor Wesley Irvine, who allegedly handed out DUP leaflets and voter registration forms in the run-up to the General Election in June.

    Councillor Muir has also referred Alderman Irvine to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards, as the allegations would be against the Code of Conduct for Councillors if proven. Councillor Muir has also made an independent complaint over the alleged use of the Council premises.

    "I have reported to PSNI my concerns after this week's Spotlight programme, particularly around the allegation the UDA held a meeting in Bangor earlier this year at which Dee Stitt, who has publicly stated he is a commander in the UDA, attended. Further to this, allegations were made on the programme Alderman Irvine attended, seeking political and electoral support.

    "I have therefore also referred Alderman Irvine to the Local Government Commissioner to ask them to investigate his alleged presence at the meeting, which has been claimed to be a meeting of the UDA's 'North Down battalion.' It is vital this situation is probed immediately and Alderman Irvine answers the questions raised by it."

    "Alderman Irvine and any of his colleagues, or indeed anyone else who attended that meeting, have a moral and legal imperative to tell the authorities who else was there, and have them make a determination whether any further action should be taken," added Alliance North Down MLA Stephen Farry.

    "Alliance is opposed to all forms of paramilitarism and the cancer it represents in our society. This includes giving active paramilitary organisations legitimacy by meeting them and canvassing for votes. Questions have been raised and now it is up to the proper authorities to seek answers."
  • Patricia OLynn3
    4 October

    Alliance North Antrim spokesperson Patricia O'Lynn has offered her condolences after the death of a pregnant woman in a house fire in Ballycastle.


    The woman, named locally as 27-year-old Sinead Stewart, died at the property on the Whitepark Road around 5.35pm yesterday.

    Ms O'Lynn said her deepest sympathies were with those affected by the tragedy.

    "My thoughts and deepest condolences are with the loved ones of this poor woman, who has perished in the most tragic of circumstances.

    "The local community will be shocked and saddened at this news. My thanks go to the emergency services, who attempted to save the life of this woman, despite their efforts ultimately being in vain.

    "I would encourage anyone with information on this fire to contact the authorities so the cause can be determined."
  • David Armitage
    3 October

    Alliance Councillor David Armitage has criticised those behind sectarian graffiti close to homes in East Belfast.

    He said: "It is extremely disappointing to see these words appearing in our community - a community where everyone should be welcomed and made to feel at home.

    "What's more worrying is that this latest graffiti attack comes not long after a number of Catholic families where forced to leave their homes in Cantrell Close due to intimidation. Enough is enough - in 2017 this cannot be the vision for our city.

  • CASTLEREAGH: CASTLEREAGH CENTRAL: Cllr Michael Long
    2 October

    The Alliance Party has changed the way Belfast City Council's top posts will be distributed, thanks to a motion from Councillor Michael Long.

    The changes will see the position of High Sheriff join the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor positions in being allocated proportionately and fairly for the first time.

  • CASTLEREAGH: CASTLEREAGH CENTRAL: Cllr Michael Long
    2 October

    Councillor Michael Long has said the Alliance Party continues to work at the highest levels to protect jobs at Bombardier, during a debate at Belfast City Council on Monday night.

    The first meeting since the preliminary ruling by the US Department of Commerce, Councillor Long said all voices must be united as we work to secure our economy for generations to come.

  • David Armitage
    27 September
    Alliance Councillor David Armitage has said he's disgusted and angry after yet another discovery of racist graffiti in East Belfast.


    The latest discovery was made in the Brandon Terrace area, with those behind it determined to make what they described as 'outsiders' feel unwelcome.

    Councillor David Armitage said: "I don't know how many times I can say this, but East Belfast is a welcoming, inclusive society and the thugs behind this on-going spate of racist graffiti attacks will never detract from that.

    "Alliance will be working with Belfast City Council and the PSNI to make sure absolutely everything possible is being done to stop the vandals responsible and to bring them to justice for the hurt and upset they are continuing to cause.

    "Just today, I was at Inverary Community Centre, which recently also suffered racist graffiti, for an event attended by locals and residents from other parts of Belfast. To hear what great work this group does and how well supported it is by all within East Belfast shows the large majority of people do not subscribe to the stupidity of this graffiti.

    "We must stand together, never allowing them the chance to strike fear into our community and showing that no-matter what they say, the majority of our community celebrates our open and inclusive nature. I would urge anyone with information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible."

  • David Armitage
    24 September
    Alliance Councillor David Armitage has hit out at those behind racist graffiti at a community centre in East Belfast.


    The culprits also left a pig's head and daubed swastikas on the wall of Inverary Community Centre in the early hours of Saturday morning. It follows recent racist graffiti written on walls in Dunraven Avenue and Glenbrook Avenue in the east of the city.

    "It is both disgusting and maddening to think there are people who will go to such lengths to whip up tensions in our community," said Councillor Armitage.

    "I spoke to the police and Belfast City Council about getting the graffiti removed as quickly as possible, as this is not the sort of behaviour we wish to see in East Belfast. The vast majority of people here welcome the growing multicultural nature of our city and wish groups behind such incidents would vanish, as they speak for no-one.

    "To leave a pig's head and racist graffiti is not just an attack on the Muslim members of our community but on all of us. I would urge anyone with information on this to contact police immediately."

  • Sian O'Neill
    22 September

    Alliance Councillor Sian O'Neill has said plans for a new family room in the East Wing of Belfast City Hall demonstrates the Council's commitment to providing a family friendly environment.

    The Councillor for Ormiston - who is herself a young Mum - welcomed the plans after the latest Strategic, Policy and Resources committee gave the green light for the project as part of on-going renovations.

  • John Doherty 1
    13 September

    Alliance Foyle representative John Doherty has said he is disgusted by vandals who defecated and urinated in a local church.


    The break-in at Christ Church on Infirmary Road in Derry-Londonderry also saw extensive damage caused to the church's organ, a decanter stolen and windows smashed. The incident happened sometime between Sunday afternoon and Tuesday at 4pm. The vandals are believed to have broken in through a stained glass window.

    "I am totally disgusted by the actions of those who broke into this church and carried out such mindless vandalism," said Mr Doherty.

    "To defile any building in this way is shameful, but to do it to a church is particularly disrespectful to those who worship there. I simply do not understand the mentality of these vandals. This attack was not just on a church but the entire community.

    "I would urge anyone with any information whatsoever on this incident to contact police with it immediately."
  • CASTLEREAGH: CASTLEREAGH CENTRAL: Cllr Michael Long
    4 September
    Belfast City Council has backed an Alliance amendment to a motion condemning recent comments made by US President Donald Trump.


    The amendment, submitted by Councillor Michael Long, said President Trump's comments following events in Charlottesville lacked clarity and failed to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi gangs.

    "The President has a history of comments showing misogyny, xenophobia and racism. It is disgraceful and there is no place for it in the world," said Councillor Long.

    "This amendment outlined the need for all of us to challenge racism and unfairness wherever we see it. Sometimes a face to face challenge is most effective, such as Justin Trudeau challenging the Pope about institutional abuse or Enda Kenny reminding Trump about the benefits of immigration.

    "It also reiterated this Council is committed to treating everyone fairly, with equality and respect, helping our city in its transition from a period of division caused by conflict to a city that celebrates diversity and pluralism."

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