Mayor says city can’t stand by as crisis grows

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The Mayor says people across Londonderry and Strabane have been moved by shocking images of death and distress resultant of much of Europe shutting its gates on desperate refugees fleeing war zones in the Middle East.

Elisha McCallion is in talks with Trócaire about the launch of a district-wide campaign of support for the refugees desperately in need of aid across Europe.

Following a rally of support yesterday in which the Mayor joined leading local politicians in declaring Derry’s doors open to refugees in crisis, Cllr McCallion is now working with the charity to quickly set in motion plans to allow the people of the city to show their support.

A special vigil will take place on Monday evening at 5pm in the Guildhall Square for people to join with crowds in all major cities in taking a stance on behalf of the many families seeking refuge.

Councillor McCallion called on people to turn out in force and challenge governments across the world to become more proactive in offering relief and asylum.

“I know the people of Derry have been moved by the shocking images of families and children in distress being shut out by countries who have the capacity to offer them comfort and aid in their hour of need. Thousands of people have already lost their lives and I know I can’t stand by and watch people suffer during what has become one of the biggest humanitarian crises of modern times.

“I am calling on the people of Derry and Strabane to rally behind this campaign, by attending Monday’s vigil, or through donations or volunteering their time to help collect. While the politicians prevaricate we can take action and show our support by providing practical aid, and helping families who are merely trying to find a safe place to live for their children.”

Further details about the Mayor’s emergency aid appeal, in conjunction with Trocaire, will be released next week. A static collection point for donations will be in place at the Guildhall and a number of other locations throughout the district, and volunteers will be needed for street collections and other fundraising initiatives. Anyone interested in volunteering their time can contact mayor@derrystrabane.com