Cllr Barry McKee reacts to prevention of debate on Palestine in Ards and North Down Borough Council

Barry McKee, Green Party Councillor for Bangor West shares disgust at the three biggest parties on Ards & North Down Borough Council for ignoring the plight of displaced people from Gaza. 
"I'm disgusted at the lack of compassion displayed by DUP, UUP & Alliance. They demonstrated so little care for the displaced people from conflict in Gaza by running away from a debate on a motion that sought to help people in such need at this time. 
In advance of the Council meeting,  I informed all Councillors of my plan to propose that Ards & North Down agree to a request from Derry City & Strabane District Council to collaborate with them, other Councils and Government Departments to facilitate and support the resettlement of Palestinian families in this Borough. 
Despite being informed in advance of my attentions, the three big parties prevented the motion from being heard, thereby missing the opportunity for our Council to show solidarity and care for people displaces by this conflict. 
Alderman Philip Smith referring to the Council staying out of international relations and this comment showed ignorance to the realities of war or conflict. Vulnerable people caught up in the atrocities in Gaza or any other conflict such as those from Ukraine, will seek a safe place to flee to and its inevitable that some will end up in our Borough. So I ask, why would we as a Council not endeavor to assist them? 
Churches, voluntary & charity organisations and our Council Officers are already working hard to integrate and offer community to newcomers to the Borough, and I had hoped that the Council could agree to work with other to do more, especially those from Palestine, in such dire need right now.

As a Borough we welcomed people from Ukraine and the Council stood in solidarity with those effected by the war in Europe.  In Northern Ireland we know the trauma suffered by those caught up in violence but yet we are not willing to show some compassion to people of this one nation of the middle east. Alliance, DUP & UUP need to ask themselves why that is and change to make this a Borough for all not just some."