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Derry's council to be asked to invite 40 refugees to live in the local area

Idea to be a discussed at a meeting on Thursday

Eamon McCann. (Photo - Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Councillor Eamonn McCann will put forward the motion at Thursday's council meeting.

Derry City and Strabane District Council will be asked this week to invite 40 refugees to come and live in the council area.

The invitation comes in a People Before Profit motion to be moved by Eamonn McCann at a council meeting on Thursday.

The motion refers to thousands of people trapped in camps on Greek islands after being rescued from drowning as they tried to cross the Mediterranean in dinghies and small boats. 

“This is a very modest proposal,” said Mr. McCann. 

“It is inspired by the #400Welcomes initiative launched by women working in the refugee camps.

"After the Dublin government agreed to accept four children from the camps, 20 women signed a letter asking that the number be increased to 400 of all ages. It’s still a very modest number. 

“Our proposal is that Derry City and Strabane Council attach its name to this initiative, make our contribution.

"We route our invite through the Home Office in London because, legally, that’s what’s required to make the idea into a reality. 

“We in People Before Profit believe that the bulk of people in the council area will have no problem with this. Many, like ourselves in People Before Profit, would be happy to go much further. But we believe and hope that the terms of this motion will be acceptable to everyone on the council.

“The effect might be to encourage other councils, here in the North and further afield, to adopt a similar stance.”

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