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Councillor News

  • Patricia OLynn1
    last Tuesday
    Alliance North Antrim representative Patricia O'Lynn has said a hoax object found in Ballymena did nothing but bring disruption to local people.

    Ms O'Lynn was speaking after the discovery of the suspicious object in the Cushendall Road area of the town this afternoon. The area was sealed off between the roundabout and Dunclug Park. The object was declared a hoax by army technical officers before the road was reopened.

    "Hoax alerts such as these do nothing but cause disruption to local people, who are subject to disturbance thanks to the actions of those behind them," she said.

    "They are also a serious drain on the resources of the authorities who have to respond. The people behind this incident must be caught and I would urge anyone with information to give it to police immediately."

  • Stephen Donnelly
    last Tuesday

    Alliance West Tyrone representative Stephen Donnelly has condemned those behind a viable device discovered in Strabane this past weekend.

    The object was found in a car parked near homes in the Drumrallagh estate, with residents having to be evacuated as a result. The pipe bomb was removed before locals were allowed to return.

    "Someone could have been seriously injured or even killed by this device," said Mr Donnelly.

    "Those who left it there clearly have no regard for the lives of others in the local community. People here do not want to see this sort of incident taking place and I utterly condemn those behind it.

    "If anyone has information in relation to this, I urge them to contact police immediately."
  • Jackie Coade1
    11 July

    Alliance Newry and Armagh representative Jackie Coade has condemned those behind a series of sheep killings in the Ballyholland area.

    Two "brutal attacks" in the past several days have seen a number of sheep killed - stabbed, with ears cut off.

    "These killings are extremely disturbing and I hope police catch whoever is responsible," said Ms Coade.

    "It is difficult to imagine how anyone can commit such cruel acts, particularly on a defenceless animal. Cruelty to animals can be linked to cruelty to humans and every effort must be made to catch the perpetrators.

    "If anyone has any information about these incidents, I would encourage them to contact police immediately."
  • sIAN o'nEILL
    8 July

    Alliance Councillor Sian O'Neill has said a long-term approach is needed for the issue of bonfires but people need to comply with Belfast City Council's injunction preventing more materials being added to several sites in East Belfast.

    The Council was granted the injunction by the High Court to stop further materials being added to the sites, as well as preventing anyone staying on the sites.

    "There is a clear and urgent need to deliver a sustainable approach to all bonfires and for statutory bodies to eradicate the illegal and anti-social behaviour at some sites," said Councillor O'Neill.

    "The application for this injunction was supported by all parties and is intended to prevent further materials being placed at a number of sites which pose a significant and immediate risk to public safety and property.

    "We call on everyone in our community to ensure a safe and legal eleventh night by respecting this measure, and the authority of those with the responsibility to uphold it, or risk being made subject to the courts."

  • Karen Douglas
    5 July
    Alliance Councillor Karen Douglas has said a functioning Executive must be established as soon as possible to help local communities tackle the poison of paramilitarism.

    The Bangor Central Councillor was speaking after attending a community meeting in Rathgill, which was held after local concerns about anti-social behaviour and ongoing paramilitary activity in the area. Agencies such as the PSNI, Housing Executive, Radius Housing and the Education Authority were also in attendance.

    She said more needs to be done to support people and show positive changes are possible.

    "The paramilitary activity happening here does nothing but place local residents at risk of harm. It is vital we all work alongside the residents to tackle issues such as extreme violent acts, blatant drug dealing and the most recent incident, which saw children finding a gun and ammunition.

    "I pay tribute to the residents here who spoke out, even in spite of fear of reprisals against their homes and families. It is important they can continue to feel supported in reporting these crimes to the police and other agencies for action. Residents have a right to feel safe in their own homes and community. Where this safety is compromised, statutory agencies must act.

    "We must see a functioning Executive as soon as possible so a working action plan on paramilitarism can be established and the proper support given to organisations such as the PSNI, in order to tackle the poison of paramilitarism, which is pervasive in many areas across our borough.

    "If anyone has any information on any of these recent incidents or any other ongoing issues relating to anti-social behaviour and paramilitarism, I would encourage them to go to the police immediately."

  • Peter McReynolds
    4 July

    Alliance Councillor Peter McReynolds has said the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry report findings must be urgently implemented if the Executive gets up and running again.

    The new Alliance East Belfast Councillor was speaking after he seconded a motion calling for Belfast City Council to write to all party leaders in Northern Ireland to ensure the recommendations are followed through.

    He said: "This is a crucial issue, demonstrating the impact the current lack of an Executive is having on people in Northern Ireland. While those individuals who suffered abuse continue to fight for justice and answers, they are unable to truly move forward from the past because of the lack of political will being shown by some parties.

    "While Sir Anthony Hart's report and his recommendations won't erase the past they will acknowledge it, ensure it will never happen again and go some way to making the present better for victims and survivors.

    "Alliance strongly supported this motion. Victims have been let down time and time again, however, they have kept fighting for truth and justice - to get acknowledgement, to get an inquiry, to be included in that inquiry, and they will keep fighting until they get the recommendations, and more, fulfilled by the next Executive.

    "As a Council we can play our part in helping them achieve this by writing to party leaders to ensure the recommendations are followed through as quickly as possible when we have a functioning Executive again."
  • Kate Nicholl
    3 July

    Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl called on Belfast City Council to continue to push the Secretary of State for full transparency around the issue of donations.

    Speaking at the latest Belfast City Council meeting, Councillor Nicholl said James Brokenshire has 'missed a key opportunity' after he fudged the issue of donations by refusing to backdate them to January 2014.

  • Kate Nicholl
    3 July

    Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl called on Belfast City Council to continue to push the Secretary of State for full transparency around the issue of donations.

    Speaking at the latest Belfast City Council meeting, Councillor Nicholl said James Brokenshire has 'missed a key opportunity' after he fudged the issue of donations by refusing to backdate them to January 2014.

    23 June

    An immediate investigation will take place into a decision by Belfast City Council to store pallets meant for bonfires, after Alliance Councillor Michael Long made the proposal on Friday morning.

    Councillor Long's call was unanimously backed as he added the recent revelations should be 'the wake-up call needed to see things change', with no future storage to take place.

  • BELFAST: VICTORIA: Cllr Mervyn Jones
    2 June
    Alliance Leader Naomi Long has paid tribute to Councillor Mervyn Jones, who has passed away aged 66.

    Mervyn served as Alliance Councillor for the Pottinger Ward on Belfast City Council from 1985 until 2001, and then for the Victoria Ward (now Ormiston) from 2005 until present. He also served as Party Treasurer.

    Mrs Long said she had been left profoundly sad by the Alliance Councillor's passing.

    "Mervyn was an esteemed colleague and friend to all of us in Alliance, and we have all been left profoundly sad by this news. He truly loved the party and working for the public, and his quiet, yet diligent work behind the scenes was of immeasurable assistance to Alliance.

    "His political work is well known, working as Alliance Chief Whip on the Council during some of the most turbulent periods in City Hall. His political acumen was a huge asset to both Alliance and the City Hall team more widely.

    "Mervyn was completely dedicated to his three sons and was never happier than when following his beloved Glentoran, Sunderland and Northern Ireland football teams. He will be hugely missed by all of us, not only for his commitment to Alliance and the support and political advice which he offered, but for his dry wit and humour which often livened up long meetings.

    "On behalf of Alliance, I have expressed our deepest sympathies to Dawn, Mervyn's sons Graham, Timothy and Iain, his brothers Trevor, Barry and Keith, and the Jones family circle."

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