Ekin says peace walls motion has captured imagination of people

Former Lord Mayor of Belfast Alliance Councillor Tom Ekin has said that he is very encouraged by the response he has had from people regarding his successful motion at Belfast City Council calling on the Council to put a strategy in place to address peace walls. He said he hopes response is an indication of the prospects of having an effective strategy created by the Council on the issue. He said peace walls or barriers can only be removed when the community wants them removed and said it was important that the circumstances are created which enable this to happened.

Cllr Tom Ekin said: “I am very encouraged at the response I have had from people regarding my motion to get Belfast City Council to put in place a strategy to address the issue of peace walls. Many people have been very positive about this – the issue has certainly captured the imagination of people and I hope that quick progress can be made on the creation of the strategy at council level.

“Recent progress shows what can be done by the community and the council needs to have the structures in place to help in this work.

“It is essential that the Council works with the community on addressing peace walls, and I hope that the response I have received since this motion was passed is an indication of the prospects of having a strategy created that will help address this issue.”

Alliance Group Leader on Belfast City Council Máire Hendron said: “The key to this initiative is to try and ensure the Council can assist the community when they wish to have a peace wall removed. It is vital that there is a strategy in place to help create the conditions in which it is safe to remove a peace wall and the community wants it removed.

“We have met with people on this issue and I am very heartened by the good work being done in interface areas to build community relations. It is crucial that politicians listen to the community in interface areas and respond to their views to help create the right circumstances to tackle segregation.”


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