McAllister is stepping forward in local government to break down walls

Speaking at today’s Alliance Conference, Councillor Nuala McAllister, who was elected to Belfast Council last May, has spoken of the walls she has encountered in her first year of council and of her willingness to break these divisions down.

Cllr McAllister said: “Since I was elected to Belfast Council last year, the thing I have encountered the most is walls. They come in all different shapes and sizes in North Belfast. We have the many so-called peace walls built to separate our community. Walls acting as a grim reminder of the bitter divisions which still exist today.

“But I have encountered new kinds of walls, ones that are social, economic and political. These walls have been built not with bricks and mortar, yet the effect is still the same. They have been put up for the same reason, to perpetuate division. Interface barriers are no longer seen as an acceptable solution, so those who thrive on division have had to find new invisible barriers to divide our community.

“I am not trying to paint a bleak picture of North Belfast. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. And why? The answer is simple- it’s the people. Those who are spending their everyday lives, living and working between the barriers, trying to break down the walls, open the gateways and create opportunities. Yet they are being faced with more and more walls being built by their supposed political leaders.

“But last year, the people of North Belfast clearly wanted something different. They wanted a party to help them remove walls, rather than build them. They stepped forward and voted for change.

“When the new Council officially begins on April 1st, with increased powers to create change, I will remain committed to bringing down the many walls we face. Only then can North Belfast truly move forward.”

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