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1

in touch
Discussing the issues that affect the
residents of South Belfast
Conall McDevitt, South Belfast MLA

s Abl a ze
Street South Belfast MLA
Conall McDevitt on
the cost of violence

A community publication from Conall
McDevitt SDLP, member of the NI Assembly.
2 Summer 2010 in touch

Alley-great! SDLP lead the way on
stressing the importance
of elderly safety
An SDLP public meeting on Below:
the importance of elderly safe-­ Cllr Bernie
ty has been hailed as a great Kelly (far
success. The meeting was left) and
attended by the local commu-­ MLA Conall
nity, PSNI representatives, McDevitt (far
Age Concern Help and Age NI. right) attend
SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt a public
has vowed to work with the meeting
local communities to create called by the
neighbourhood watch schemes SDLP on the
saying: “These schemes have importance
proven to be very successful of elderly
in other areas throughout the safety.
North, and it is my vision that
we can prove them to be every
bit as effective in South Bel-­
fast.”

South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt (pictured with Cllrs Nichola
Mallon and Niall Kelly) has welcomed the introduction of alleygating
in areas around South Belfast. Speaking on the issue, McDevitt
has said: “Alleygates have proven very effective in reducing anti-
social behaviour and improving safety for all residents in the area.”
McDevitt has called on the Minister for Justice to increase funding
in order to extend the scheme.

Kill the Bill!
SDLP members have
staged a protest at
Stormont against
the Public Assemblies,
Parades and Protests Bill.
The bill criminalises any
parade, protest or assembly of
more than 50 people where
37 days notice is not given.
South Belfast MLA Conall
McDevitt (pictured with
party members including
leader Margaret Ritchie) has
condemned the bill as an
infringement on human rights.
“These proposals are
Stalinist and totally at odds
with the promotion of
diversity and tolerance.”
3

Who are my Community
public representatives? consultation
Conall McDevitt wants to
hear from you! The South
Your MLAs for South Belfast Belfast MLA and his team will
be knocking on around 3,000
Conall McDevitt Alasdair McDonnell MP GRRUV WR ÀQG RXW \RXU YLHZV
on both local and regional
393a Lisburn Road 120a Ormeau Road issues. This will allow Conall
Belfast Belfast, BT7 2EB to effectively tackle the issues
BT9 7EW Tel 028 9024 2474 that affect you. The three
Tel 028 9068 3535 Fax 028 9043 9935 most important issues raised
Fax 028 9068 3503 info@alasdair so far are:
c.mcdevitt@sdlp.ie mcdonnell.com
1. Enhancing relationships
between communities.
Your Councillors for Balmoral 2. Supporting local traders.
3. Community engagement
Niall Kelly Bernie Kelly initiatives to reduce anti-
social behaviour, crime
40 Grangeville Gardens 393a Lisburn Road
and underage drinking.
Belfast Belfast
BT10 0HL BT9 7EW
Tel 07828733125 Tel 07710 931323 To take part, please visit:
n.kelly@sdlp.ie bkelly@utvinternet.com tinyurl.com/conallmcd

Trailblazer retires
Outgoing South Belfast MLA,
Carmel Hanna ‘Continual renewal is
what we need throughout the North’
It was one of the great renewal. It’s what we need
experiences of my life to have throughout the North, and it’s
represented the people of very important to give the next
South Belfast as a Councillor, generation a chance to affect
MLA and Minister. However, change.
the time has come to move Although moving on from
on and I am very happy that constituency work, I am
Conall McDevitt has succeeded continuing to campaign on
me as MLA. He is able and a number of issues which I
articulate, young and dynamic, championed in the Assembly,
and brings great energy and including supporting the
commitment to his work as an survivors of institutional abuse
MLA. and encouraging international
We are fortunate in the development.
calibre of our SDLP public It has been an absolute
representatives;; we have a privilege to represent you. I
great team with Conall, our FRQÀGHQWO\ OHDYH \RX LQ WKH
councillors, Bernie Kelly capable hands of Conall, whom
and Niall Kelly, and several I know will always strive to
others waiting in the wings. passionately represent the Carmel Hanna wishes Conall McDevitt well as
I’m a believer in continual people of South Belfast. new MLA for South Belfast.
4 Summer 2010 in touch

Millions: The amount of taxpayers’ pounds squandered in attempting to
quell the chaotic scenes of this year’s Twelfth of July riots. Whilst this
ÀJXUHIURP361,&KLHI&RQVWDEOH0DWW%DJJRWWLVXQGRXEWHGO\GLVWXUELQJ
it is feared that the long term damage to jobs, tourism and the global
perception of Northern Ireland will cost much more. Is it now time for a
serious debate on how to deal with the contentious parades issue?

Counting the cost of the Twelfth
V
iolence broke out Right:
across many parts A scene from
of Northern Ireland the Ormeau
during the Twelfth Bridge
of July parading season. 82 during the
SROLFH RIÀFHUV ZHUH LQMXUHG disturbances
LQFOXGLQJDIHPDOHRIÀFHUZKR of this year’s
was struck on the head with Twelfth of
a breeze block. Blast bombs, July.
bricks, stones and even golf
balls were hurled at police dur-­
ing the riotous scenes involv-­
ing children as young as eight.
In South Belfast, police
were attacked with paint
bombs, missiles and at least
ÀYH SHWURO ERPEV DV D SDUDGH
passed the Ormeau Bridge.
With images of the dis-­
turbances beamed across the “Images of the Ormeau Bridge that the bad press could seri-­
globe, many fear that the LQ ÁDPHV ZLOO GR QRWKLQJ WR ously undermine the upcoming
repercussions of such scenes KHOS EULQJ QHZ MREV RU LQYHVW-­ US-­NI Economic Conference,
will stretch far beyond the ment to this city. Neither can threatening to scupper poten-­
streets of Ardoyne. we afford the cost of policing tial US investment.
South Belfast MLA Conall and cleaning up after these Whilst the North boasts a
McDevitt, who observed the disruptions.” well-­educated workforce, high-­
chaos unfold in the area, said: 6HQLRUEXVLQHVVÀJXUHVIHDU speed connectivity and low
operating cost environment,
Celebrations of culture and faith in neutral spaces- securing the attendance of
Not on residential streets Conall McDevitt, South Belfast MLA leading executives may become
Those of us who witnessed the No matter what way you GLIÀFXOW GXH WR WKH HYHQWV RI
violence on the Ormeau Bridge dress it up, if you are not an this year’s Twelfth holiday.

P
during the Twelfth know that the Orange supporter and bands
youths involved are not repre- come marching up your street, olice have been broadly
sentative of the lower Ormeau it feels like an invasion. praised for their efforts
community. Their actions must This does not happen to stop the riotous
be condemned. when parades pass through scenes. However, many
But the sad reality is that a neutral spaces, such as city have criticised DUP-­SF’s per-­
minority on both sides see the centres. That is why I believe ceived inaction.
Twelfth as an opportunity to Orange parades should respect PSNI assistant chief con-­
behave inappropriately. residential areas and focus on stable Alistair Finlay, criti-­
Every year in my street, the creating welcoming celebra- cised First Minister Peter
parade leaves a trail of litter and tions of their culture and Robinson and Deputy First
urine as it passes through. That faith in neutral spaces Minister Martin McGuinness,
is the courtesy some marchers and not on resi- remarking on their relative
and their supporters show. dential streets. silence prior to July 12th and
5
Follow Conall McDevitt on Twitter
twitter.com/conallmcd

Global View

What did other
people make of
this year’s Twelfth
trouble?
I know that if I had enough
money to invest somewhere,
the land that my parents came
from would absolutely be
the last place I would do so. I
wonder where they will all be
ZKHQ:HVWPLQVWHUÀQDOO\WLUHV
of putting money into that
black hole?
Canadian web user (CBC
Website)

“Having grown up in Northern
Ireland but resided on the
mainland for the last 10 years,
I see the situation there
as completely farcical. I am
embarrassed to hail from
a country which only ever
makes the headlines due to
a backward and blinkered
minority, and a political system
in the immediate aftermath. “Children should be put at Above: which constantly appeases it.”
´:H GLGQ·W VHH MRLQHGXS the heart of everything we do. Police Richard Jones, London
strategic leadership,” he said. As a region we treat children observe a (BBC Website)
South Belfast MLA Conall very poorly. We don’t invest in burning car
McDevitt said: “It is time to early years or primary schools;; wreckage in “Grow up and move on with
acknowledge that the SF-­ only last month Caitríona the Ardoyne your lives. We are sick of it. If
DUP approach to parading Ruane withdrew important area during they don’t want to stop, leave
will do nothing funding for com-­ the Twelfth them to it, and stop all funding
to break this A separate but munity rela-­ riots. from the mainland. We could
cycle.” equal vision of tions work with do with reducing our spending,
“A separate young people. especially on unruly idiots...
but equal vision Northern Ireland Then we won-­ Pathetic!”
of Northern won’t address der why chil-­ Dan Malone, Liverpool
Ireland won’t dren come out (BBC Website)
address the the underlying to riot,” he said.
XQGHUO\LQJSUHM-­ prejudice evident Mr McDe-­ “It was a bit like a Euro Disney
udice evident on on our streets vitt urged the theme park for rioting. It was
our streets,” he DUP and SF to ludicrous.”
said. Conall McDevitt, withdraw their Fr Gary Donegan, Ardoyne
McDevitt South Belfast MLA much-­criticised
also said it is public assem-­ “The cost of policing last
vital for the SF-­DUP coalition blies bill and engage all parties night...is the equivalent of
to show more serious commit-­ in designing an effective policy. a ward in a hospital. It’s the
ment for a community rela-­ “There is much to discuss, equivalent of a primary school.”
tions and reconciliation policy, but the solution does not lie Chief Constable Matt
and increase investment in with the police;; it lies with gov-­ Baggott
children. ernment,” McDevitt said.
6 Summer 2010 in touch

20’s plenty for South Belfast
Currently advocating a reduction in the speed limit in urban residential
areas from 30mph to 20mph, MLA Conall McDevitt is calling on the
Assembly to back his proposals to change the law.

M On your bike!
r McDevitt has
been working
closely with
residents in his
campaign to reduce the speed
limit from 20 to 30mph. South
Belfast householders have
been increasingly worried and
frustrated due to many side
streets being used and abused
by drivers as “rat runs” in
RUGHUWREHDWWKHWUDIÀF
With a vision to redesign
and reconceptualise the streets,
Mr McDevitt has been at the
forefront of this campaign and
has been working closely with
the people of South Belfast, as
well as other concerned lobby
groups.
Further to a Freedom
of Information Request
submitted by McDevitt to
the PSNI in June, it was
discovered that not one single SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt arriving at Parliament Buildings on his 18
À[HG SHQDOW\ KDV EHHQ LVVXHG mile return daily commute from the Lisburn Road. Mr McDevitt purchased
by the PSNI for a speeding his bike tax free on the ride to work scheme and saves the public £7.20
offence on a sample of rat runs a day by choosing this mode of transport. McDevitt challenges all other
between Lisburn and Malone MLAs to join him in his efforts to travel healthily and lead by example.
Road. This is the case despite
the existence of a police station Why 20 really is plenty “Prevention rather than My
at the bottom of Adelaide cure is the key to change. vision
Park and Cranmore Park. „ If hit by a car at 30mph Simply putting in speed bumps is to
Questioning this revelation, \RXIDFHDRQHLQÀYHFKDQFHRI will act only as a short term
McDevitt said: “We must death. If hit by a car at 20mph measure whereas changing redesign
challenge the PSNI on this the chance of death is reduced the attitude of drivers will the
point and discover whether the to one in forty. create a long term solution to streets.
police are simply ignoring the „ 20mph zones in London the problem. My vision is to
problem.” have shown a 42% reduction redesign the streets. Conall
Mr McDevitt calls for a in all casualties within 20mph “Public support for this McDevitt
change in attitude in the way zones compared with 30mph campaign is incredible. I would
we drive and travel. The MLA areas. like to thank all those who
believes that a decrease in „ Lower speeds on got in touch to express their
speed along with redesigning residential roads make them views, as they are greatly
the streets will make them more attractive for cyclists and appreciated.” he said.
accessible, inviting, and safe pedestrians.
for cyclists and pedestrians.
7
Education

Pre-school
pressure
mounts on
parents

L
ocal MLA Conall
McDevitt has
expressed his concern
over Education Minis-­
ter Caitríona Ruane’s failure
to satisfy demand for nursery
school places in the South Bel-­
fast area.

“Again Minister
Ruane has
failed to deliver
on her promise to
providing a pre-
school place for
every child
in his/her immediate
pre-school year.”
On the ground Conall McDevitt, South
Belfast MLA
Community Comments
Conall McDevitt sought feedback from South Belfast residents on his 20mph initiative. Mr McDevitt said: “Again
Below are some of the comments received from householders: Minister Ruane has failed to
deliver on her promise to pro-­
“As an Intensive Care doctor, speed and promote personal vide a pre-­school place for eve-­
I am aware both of the tragic safety is very welcome.” ry child in his/her immediate
consequences of road accidents pre-­school year.”
and of the various initiatives on “We fear it will be a mat- “This has become an annu-­
WUDIÀFVSHHGVZKLFKKDYHWDNHQ ter of time before someone is al problem which has left frus-­
place. There is no doubt that hurt. The current situation is trated parents with no choice
20mph results in fewer acci- extremely dangerous and we but to look to the private sec-­
dents, fewer deaths and fewer believe corrective action must tor. The private sector should
serious injuries than 30mph.” be taken as a matter of urgen- QRW KDYH WR VWHS LQ WR ÀOO WKH
cy.” holes left by the Minister’s
“Speeding in Osborne Park is funding cuts,” he said.
extremely dangerous and “Our streets are being used as Mr McDevitt added: “Fami-­
an accident waiting to thoroughfares between the lies should never be left with-­
happen.This is a busy park busy Malone Road and the out provision for their children.
with children walking to even busier Lisburn Road and The issue must be addressed
and from school and res- on countless occasions I have and resolved by the next school
idents coming and going. witnessed outrageous epi- year so that every child is ade-­
Anything to reduce the sodes of speeding.” quately provided for.”
8 Summer 2010 in touch

t and A b o u t
Ou
th B elf a s t
in Sou

Conall and Sonia
run for Concern
Olympic legend Sonia O’Sullivan was in Belfast
to train some of those running for Concern
Worldwide in this year’s Belfast Marathon.
9
Read Conall McDevitt’s blog
oconallstreet.com

Left: Conall McDevitt with
staff of ‘NI Chest Heart and
Stroke’.
Far Left: SDLP MLA Conall
Bus boosts business
McDevitt welcoming the Ulster South Belfast SDLP MLA Conall
Museum’s recent McDevitt has welcomed the
success on winning the Art introduction of the new Lisburn
Fund Prize. Road Courtesy Bus Initiative, say-
Middle Left: Councillor Niall ing: “This is a fantastic idea and
Kelly converses with Secretary a great opportunity for traders
of State of the United on the Lisburn Road. It will help
States Hillary Clinton. to ensure that the Lisburn Road
Middle Far Left: ViceChair remains an accessible and desir-
of the All Party Group on able shopping destination for all.”
International Development After the success of the trial in
Conall McDevitt, with the May, Hugo Finlay from the Lis-
Former British Minister for burn Road Business Association
Overseas Development Mike said: “For too long the main mar-
Foster. keting and promotional message
Bottom Right: Councillor for Belfast has been orchestrat-
Bernie Kelly launching the ed by big name national compa-
Senior Citizens Convention. nies with big budgets. The LRBA
Below: Conall McDevitt with intends to change that.
Senator David Norris at the “I hope to see the service
‘Pride Talks Back’ debate. resuming in the autumn months,
Bottom: Conall McDevitt with this time targeting the hotels and
Queen’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor tourists,” Finlay said.
Professor Tony Gallagher and
&RPPXQLW\$IIDLUV2IÀFHU
Gordon Douglas.
10 Summer 2010 in touch

First Step forward for victims of institutional abuse

C
onall McDevitt has
welcomed recent
progress in the cam-­
SDLJQ IRU MXVWLFH
for survivors of institutional
abuse. The South Belfast MLA
has been at the forefront of
the campaign acting as a rep-­
resentative for the survivors.
A public inquiry into the
alleged abuse at state-­funded
Catholic-­run institutions is
sought by victims, along with
an apology from the First and
Deputy First Ministers.
Mr McDevitt, who accom-­
panied victims to a meeting at
Stormont in front of the First
and Deputy First Minister
said: “There is no question in Deputy First Minister can and Mr McDevitt has also said that Conall
my mind that there is a deter-­ will acknowledge that children he does not believe the process McDevitt
PLQDWLRQLQWKH2IÀFHRI)LUVW were failed,” McDevitt said. equals a “blank cheque being accompanies
Minister and Deputy First The South Belfast MLA is handed to lawyers.” survivors of
Minister to begin work on the FRQÀGHQW WKDW WKH $VVHPEO\ “The survivors will accept a institutional
issue and put it at the centre of will be able to do something process of inquiry that is both abuse to
the Executive’s agenda. that will “try and draw a line time and cost limited. They do their meeting
“This was a constructive in the sand for the survivors of not want the inquiry to end up with the
meeting which has shown abuse”. costing the state a dispropor-­ First and
me, and the survivors whom I Facing criticism over the tionate amount of money.” Deputy First
represent, that the First and cost of such public inquiries, Ministers.

Finance

McDonnell fights to save First Trust Bank

S
Left: outh Belfast MP Dr. 2IÀFHVDQGHPSOR\VVWDII
Dr. Alasdair Alasdair McDonnell LQ WKH 1RUWK $ ÀUHVDOH ZLOO
McDonnell has challenged the mean the loss of livelihoods for
has written Republic’s Minister of all of these workers and their
to the Finance to intervene in order families,” he said.
Finance WR KHOS VDYH  ORFDO MREV Dr. McDonnell has written
Minister WKUHDWHQHG E\ WKH ÀUHVDOH to the Finance Minister Brian
Brian Lenihan of First Trust Bank by its Lenihan outlining his concerns
outlining his Southern-­based owner Allied UHJDUGLQJDQ\ÀUHVDOH
concerns Irish Bank. “First Trust has built up a
regarding any Dr. McDonnell, an strong customer loyalty base
ÀUHVDOHRI outspoken critic of unfair DQGUHPDLQVSURÀWDEOH,QWKH
First Trust banking practices, said that current economic climate, that
Bank the human impact in terms is no mean achievement.
RI MRE ORVVHV DQG WKH ORVV RI “I am urging Minister
ÀQDQFLDO VHUYLFHV ZRXOG EH Lenihan to positively intervene
devastating. to save the livelihood of so
“First Trust operates 48 many people,” Dr. McDonnell
full service branches, two Head said.
11
Bernie Kelly 393A Lisburn Rd
Belfast BT9 7EW
bkelly@utvinternet.com
SDLP South Belfast Councillor 07710931323

South Belfast residents groups deserve praise

S
everal large-­scale plan-­
ning developments
have threatened to
have a detrimental
impact upon neighbourhoods
within South Belfast. How-­
ever, South Belfast residents
groups I have worked with in
opposing these developments
have shown a resilience which
is truly commendable.
The Piney Hills residents
group is of particular com-­
mendation as they have con-­
sistently challenged planning
decisions that could change the
character of their area. parent about developments. Above:
Autism
Piney Hills has been tar-­ Whilst we are very proud of Cllr Bernie
geted by developers, which KDYLQJ D ÀUVW FODVV DFDGHPLF Kelly, with
could be damaging to the char-­ institution in South Belfast, members Council supports
acter of the local area. Queen’s have a poor record of of the motion to help those
The Dub Lane residents engaging with local residents. Piney Hills
group has also adopted a pro-­ Sitting on the Council’s residents affected by autism
active approach: they fought Town Planning Committee group

S
against an application by and working with residents
Queen’s University to build groups has convinced me of the ecuring cross-­party
residential homes on a near-­ need for residents to have the support for individuals
E\ JUHHQ ÀHOG VLWH H[SUHVV-­ right to appeal applications. with autism and their
ing concern about the impact I would therefore encourage families through a
of more housing in an already anyone who has an issue with motion I submitted to Council
congested area. any planning developments to was of great importance to me.
Queen’s University needs contact me. After hearing a moving
to be more open and trans-­ account of how the disability
affected the life of a mother of
Women’s affairs an autistic child who contacted
me, I brought the matter before
Women’s affairs role will prove a welcome challenge Council.
Autism is not covered in

M
y role as Chairper-­ are heard. This is something I Disability Discrimination
son of the SDLP am deeply passionate about, legislation, meaning that
Women’s Group, and so I was delighted to be individuals with autism have
as well as work-­ DSSRLQWHG DV MXQLRU VSRNHV-­ no redress when they are
ing on the South Belfast person on Women’s Affairs GHQLHG DFFHVV WR EHQHÀWV RU
Partnership Board, allows by SDLP Leader Margaret services.
me to see the important role Ritchie. I called for those with autism
women play in commu-­ It is important for de-­ and their relatives to have
nity groups through-­ mocracy that women improved rights and increased
out South Belfast. We are able to participate VHUYLFHV DQG ZDV RYHUMR\HG
need to ensure that fully in society and WR ÀQG WKDW WKH PRWLRQ ZDV
their work is appreci-­ play a part in decision supported by all political
ated and their voices making. parties in Belfast City Council.
12 Summer 2010 in touch

DUP-SF indecision costing jobs?

S
outh Belfast MLA Lisburn Road
Conall McDevitt has is one of the
called on the larger par-­ areas visibly
ties to show more proac-­ affected by
tive leadership in the recovery the economic
of the NI economy. downturn.
South Belfast has been vis-­
ibly suffering due to the eco-­
nomic downturn. Streets have
continued to decline, with
many established shops shut-­
ting their doors. CDC Leisure,
owners of the Limelight, have
also gone into administration.
McDevitt said: “To date the
DUP-­Sinn Fein led Executive
has failed to address the reces-­
sion. Our local businesses do RI ,UHODQG KDYH EHHQ UHMHFWHG foundly wrong”.
not see any great leadership by Finance Minister, Sammy The South Belfast MLA
from those in key government Wilson. The Minister’s stance emphasised the serious need
departments,” represents a sharp u-­turn in for a reduction in the NI cor-­
Mr McDevitt criticised the DUP policy, directly contra-­ poration tax, saying the issue
DUP’s indecision on the econ-­ dicting former Finance Min-­ FRXOGZHOOEHFRPHDPDMRUSDUW
omy. ister Peter Robinson’s sup-­ of negotiations with the new
SDLP proposals to port of lowering NI British Government.
campaign for a corpo-­ corporation tax. Mr McDevitt also urged
ration tax reduction Mr McDevitt has the SF-­DUP Executive to con-­
to match the South criticised Mr Wil-­ FHQWUDWHRQWKHFUHDWLRQRIMREV
son’s stance as “pro-­ and sustainable local industry.

Student issues

McDevitt launches opposition
to student fees proposals

S
outh Belfast MLA sities is short sighted and must MLA Conall
Conall McDevitt is be opposed.” McDevitt
opposing proposals Mr McDevitt has urged stu-­ plans to bring
which aim to drasti-­ dents and parents among oth-­ a petition
cally increase university stu-­ HUVWRMRLQWKHJURZLQJRSSRVL-­ against the
dents’ tuition fees. tion towards the proposals. Russell
The Russell Group – a Almost 7000 people have Group’s
group which represents univer-­ registered their disapproval of proposals
sities including Oxford, Cam-­ the Russell Group’s scheme via to the NI
bridge and Queen’s – have pro-­ a Facebook group initiated by Assembly.
posed that graduates should McDevitt. The SDLP member
be asked to start paying back plans to bring a petition to the
their student loans earlier and NI Assembly including all the
at a higher interest rate. names in the Facebook group.
Criticising the scheme, Mr
McDevitt said: “The proposal Join Facebook Group:
by the Russell Group of univer-­ tinyurl.com/2el6b7l
13
Follow Niall Kelly on Twitter
twitter.com/niallkellysdlp

Niall Kelly 40 Grangeville Gardens
Belfast BT10 0HL
n.kelly@sdlp.ie
SDLP South Belfast Councillor 07828733125

Success for Council on the net
t’
‘F ix My Stree A landmark of
campaig n
openness and
transparency
Local government has been hit
by a number of scandals over
WKH SDVW VL[ PRQWKV , ÀUPO\
believe that we have a duty
to the ratepayers of Belfast to
show them how we make deci-­
sions. Therefore, Belfast City
Council’s decision to support

H
my motion calling for Council
ouseholds across Streets to ensure that the issues which meetings to be streamed
South Belfast have ahead: Fix residents have raised with RQOLQH LV D WUXO\ VLJQLÀ-­
received the ‘Fix My My Street me will be addressed as soon cant act of openness and
6WUHHW· Á\HU RYHU has helped as possible. Please feel free transparency.
the past few weeks, and the improve our to contact me if you have any The decision means
response has been remarkable. streets issue that needs addressed. that all monthly meet-­
Launched in May, the Fix ings of Belfast City
My Street campaign is a fan-­ Problem shared? Problem Solved! Council next
tastic opportunity to drastical-­ year will be
ly improve our neighbourhoods „ Dog fouling in Orchardville: The dog warden streamed live
and build a stronger, safer, and WHDPKDYHPRXQWHGDKLJKSURÀOHFDPSDLJQLQWKH online and
cleaner South Belfast in which area to help tackle the problem. archived
to live. The scheme focuses on „ Poor pavements in Ormonde and Upton: I for later
dealing with problems such as liased with Roads Service to discuss repairs and view-­
potholes, broken kerbstones, devise a long term solution ing.
GRJ IRXOLQJ JUDIÀWL OLWWHU DQG „ $GGLWLRQDOÀOWHUDUURZQHHGHGRQ)LQDJK\
WUDIÀFFDOPLQJPHDVXUHV Crossroads: Pressure put on Road Service to
I have been busy contacting LQVWDOODQHZÀOWHUDUURZWRLPSURYHWUDIÀFÁRZ
the various statutory agencies

Railway Bridge

The ugliest bridge in Ireland?

P
eople in the Finaghy address residents’ concerns in
area are sick and tired relation to the Finaghy railway
of looking at the green bridge by doing something to
monstrosity which improve its appearance.
has replaced the old railway The bridge has been dubbed
bridge. This new bridge needs ‘The Ugliest Bridge in Ireland’
work carried out on it so that and it doesn’t take much to see
it no longer is the eyesore that why this is the case. The old
it has become. I have called red brick bridge on the other
on the Minister for Regional hand was a local landmark
Development, Sinn Fein’s ZKLFK ÀWWHG LQ SHUIHFWO\ ZLWK
Cllr Niall Kelly at the “green monstrosity”. Conor Murphy, to immediately the character of the area.
14 Summer 2010 in touch

Councillors represent concerned residents

B
elfast Councillors the vice chair of the licensing
Niall Kelly and Bernie committee, has been actively
Kelly have pledged to involved in trying to manage
continue highlighting the problems associated with
residents’ concerns regard-­ the site. The SDLP Councillor
ing the Emerald Roadhouse said: “We worked closely with
licensed bar/entertainments the management of the Deven-­
venue. ish, the PSNI and Belfast City
The licensed site currently Council to ensure that this
occupied by Emerald Road-­ problem was managed and I
house (formerly the Deven-­ am delighted that anti-­social
ish Arms) has been the sub-­ behaviour in the area has been
MHFW RI D ORQJUXQQLQJ GLVSXWH drastically reduced.”
with locals. Operating in a SDLP Councillors voted
residential area in Finaghy, against the Emerald Road-­
many have complained of late house licence application as
night noise, revellers urinat-­ local residents were not being
ing in gardens, broken glass, given the opportunity to voice
DQGÀJKWVHPDQDWLQJIURPWKH their concerns to the Council
licensed premises. and Emerald Roadhouse man-­
The Emerald was granted agement at a public meeting.
a new entertainment’s licence In previous years, Councillors
by Belfast City Council in Bernie Kelly and Niall Kelly With the new Emerald Above:
March . The licence, which was staged a number of productive business in its early stages, Cllrs Niall
DSSURYHG GHVSLWH REMHFWLRQV public meetings to discuss the Councillors Niall Kelly and Kelly and
from SDLP Councillors, means site, ensuring the attendance Bernie Kelly have also urged Bernie Kelly
that entertainment will once RI NH\ 361, DQG &RXQFLO RIÀ-­ residents to report any inci-­ outside the
again be provided on the site. cials so that residents could dents to them or contact the Devenish.
Cllr. Niall Kelly, who is now suitably voice their concerns. PSNI.

Oideachas

Córas aistrithe Ruane ag teip “Tá fearg ar thuismitheoirí
nach féidir a gcuid páistí
áiteanna a fháil sna scoileanna

N
áitiúla agus tá cuid mhór
íl an córas aistrithe nach bhfuil ag tabhairt aghaidh Níl amhras acu ag dul chuig an bhinse
daltaí ón bhunscoil ar na scoileanna gramadaí ar bith nach achomhairc lena bhfáil
bhfuil córas
go dtí an mheánscoil agus bíonn tuismitheoirí inoibreach
isteach. Olc is uile mar atá
in áit an scrúdú ag roghnú na scoileanna curtha in áit an scéal faoi lathair is measa
aistrithe 11+ ag obair i gceart neamhroghnaíoch ‘is fearr’ -­ dá an scrúdú arís a bheas sé má éiríonn cuid
de reir Chonall McDevitt, bharr sin tá barraíocht éilimh aistrithe 11+ de na gráimearscoileanna as
ag Cáitríona
córas a chuir Caitríona ar chuid de na scoileanna sin. Ruane agus
téisteanna iontrála a úsáid.
Ruane, Aire Oideachais an “Mar gheall air sin, níl go bhfuil “Níl amhras ar bith nach
Tuaiscirt i bhfeidhm. Fós, tá daltaí áirithe ó cheantair páistí agus bhfuil córas inoibreach curtha
na scoileanna gramadaí ag roghnacha na scoileanna tuismitheoirí in áit an scrúdú aistrithe 11+
thíos leis.
cuir scrúdaithe iontrálacha ar sin -­ na daltaí is faide conaí ag Cáitríona Ruane agus go
dhaltaí aistrithe agus tá na uathu, agus tá siad in ann bhfuil páistí agus tuismitheoirí
scoileanna neamroghnaíocha áit a fháil ansin. Lena chois thíos leis. Tá práinn le
ag úsáid córas an Aire. sin tá tuismitheoirí áirithe hathbhreithniú a dhéanamh
I ráiteas a d’eisigh an taobh amuigh an ceantar ar an chóras aistrithe nó beidh
McDevitt dúirt sé, roghnaíochta ag úsáid seolamh sé ina phráiseach cheart arís
“Is mó anois ná riamh líon na ngaolta le páistí a fháil an bhliain seo chugainn mura
na ndaltaí i gceantair áirithe isteach sna scoileanna sin. ndéantar.”
15
Find Conall McDevitt on Facebook
facebook.com/conall.mcdevitt

A final thought

Conall McDevitt South Belfast MLA

Finding the path to a
truly shared society

W
hat would you – not the outdated sectarian Make no a strong all-­Ireland economy if
say is your ‘iden-­ bickering of old – but poli-­ mistake, this we have a weak northern one.
tity’? Is it your tics of consensus-­building and segregation We need to make the North a
gender, you age, partnership focused on prob-­ has fuelled place where sectarianism is
the conflict
your class even? Perhaps you lem solving: the politics of the the real enemy and govern-­
over the
identify yourself as being Irish, future rather than the politics past 40
PHQWOHDGVWKHÀJKWDJDLQVWLW
or alternatively, as a British of the past. years, and Those who are offering lit-­
citizen. In Northern Ireland, If we are to truly move for-­ continues WOH PRUH WKDQ D UHDIÀUPDWLRQ
our identity is something that ward as a society, we must to divide us of tribal identity are actually
ZHÀQGGLIÀFXOWWRGHÀQH learn to really live together, in our daily missing the point. There is an
The ‘Troubles’ have created respecting and acknowledg-­ lives. enormous difference between
a legacy of communities that ing our differences, but also this vision of a Shared Soci-­
live apart. For too long people embracing and furthering the ety which I believe in and the
have grown up and lived in attributes we hold in common. uneasy coexistence that the
separate neighbourhoods, been The real task of reconciling two parties leading our gov-­
taught in separate schools, WKHSDVWLVWKHUHIRUHQRWMXVWWR ernment seem to be content
followed different sports and end violence and to reduce ten-­ with.
have been slow to share the VLRQ EXW WR ÀJXUH RXW D SDWK-­ SF-­DUP have spent three
workplace. Make no mistake, way to a truly shared society;; a years dodging their responsi-­
this segregation has fuelled society which we can all iden-­ bility under the Good Friday
WKH FRQÁLFW Agreement to
over the past There is now a genuine cry going up in Northern seek a shared
40 years, and Ireland for a new type of politics: the politics of the society. Facing
continues to the last West-­
divide us in future rather than the politics of the past. minster elec-­
our daily lives. WLRQWKH\ÀQDO-­
Is it even possible there-­ tify with, and a future we can ly – begrudgingly – produced a
fore, for people of different all be proud of. ‘Cohesion, Sharing and Inte-­
views and aspirations to have This ‘Shared Society’ is the gration’ document, which pro-­
a common, or shared identity? foundation for a new kind of vides no practical leadership
When I talk to young north-­ politics, and the philosophy on at all. It contains no serious or
erners, it pleases me to meet which the Good Friday Agree-­ VSHFLÀFSURSRVDOVZKDWVRHYHU
people who are proudly North-­ ment is built. The SDLP believes in a
ern and proudly Irish. Many To achieve this, we must United Ireland-­ Unambigu-­
are proudly British too and change, and change radically: ously. But to work towards
most happy to be Europeans. we need to make the North this goal, we cannot be in deni-­
This isn’t a ‘dilution’ of the work at a regional govern-­ al about Northern Ireland as a
identity, but a realisation that ment level. It also means get-­ region, or refuse to participate
there are many different facets ting serious about the econ-­ in British politics. We must
to what makes us whole. omy because work towards a shared society,
There is now a genuine we will so that everyone can see the
cry going up in Northern Ire-­ never EHQHÀWVRIDXQLÀHGLVODQGDQG
land for a new type of politics build DXQLÀHGSHRSOH
16 Published by Conall McDevitt MLA, 393a Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7EW
Designed and produced by Brendan Hughes and Aoife Clayton. Summer 2010 in touch

Fairtrade Forward? Claire Hanna, SDLP International Secretary
and Windsor Representative
People lead, Executive follows Think global, act local

S
outh Belfast MLA bottom up. Fairtrade status The SDLP sees climate change - and in particular
Conall McDevitt means showing a commitment its impact on poverty - as the pressing global
has called on the to the use of Fairtrade prod-­ issue of our time. Central to
Executive to catch ucts, but one must ask where SDLP values is the concept of
up with the people of the this commitment is in reality,” thinking globally, and acting
North in its approach to the McDevitt said. locally.
use of Fairtrade products. Calling on the Ministers In South Belfast the
McDevitt has discovered that to ensure the use of Fairtrade SDLP team has been
there is no option to purchase products is promoted within involved in the ‘Transition
Fairtrade cotton uniforms or departments, McDevitt said: Town’ project, which aims
bed linen in the Health Service “The Executive is totally out WR ÀQG ORFDO DQVZHUV
while the Minister for Edu-­ of step with thinking in the to the problems of
cation Caitríona Ruane has North, where it is the consum-­ climate change by
DOVR FRQÀUPHG WKDW VKH LV QRW ers who have embraced Fair-­ looking at ways to
aware of a single school which trade;; sales are doubling every improve transport,
includes a Fairtrade option in year. It is time the Executive local food, health,
its school meals contracts. caught up and showed a real energy generation
“With Belfast being the commitment to the developing and links with local
only city to be awarded both world by creating sustainable government.
UK and Ireland Fairtrade sta-­ trade opportunities for small
tus, it would be expected that nations.” More information
this leadership would come Visit www.TransitionTownBelfast.org, or contact
from the top down, and not the Claire Hanna on 07729208258. 

Useful information Fix My Street

Conall McDevitt MLA
393a Lisburn Road c.mcdevitt@sdlp.ie
Belfast, BT9 7EW conallmcdevitt.org
Tel 028 9068 3535 facebook.com/conall.mcdevitt
Fax 028 9068 3503 twitter.com/conallmcd

Alasdair McDonnell MLA, MP
120a Ormeau Road info@alasdair
Belfast, BT7 2EB mcdonnell.com
Tel 028 9024 2474
Fax 028 9043 9935

Cllr Niall Kelly If you wish to report an issue with your
40 Grangeville Gardens n.kelly@sdlp.ie VWUHHWWKDW\RX·GOLNHÀ[HGELJRUVPDOO
Belfast www.niallkellysdlp.ie please contact your local representative.
BT10 0HL twitter.com/niallkellysdlp
Tel 07828733125

Cllr Bernie Kelly
Community Consultation
393a Lisburn Road bkelly@utvinternet.com To take part in Conall McDevitt’s community
Belfast consultation, please visit:
BT9 7EW tinyurl.com/conallmcd
Tel 07710 931323 Your opinions are greatly appreciated.