The behind closed doors decision taken to swamp the Galliagh estate overnight is a disaster for the people of the area. Already we are seeing bins being burned on roads and other anti-social activity as a result.
We have also been approached by Housing Executive maintenance contractors who are afraid to go into the Galliagh estate today because of youths gathering in some locations.

The IRSP have always stood for empowering communities and for engagement around these very sensitive issues. Recently in the Bogside members of our youth section, the Republican Socialist Youth Movement, engaged with residents and other young people and were able to successfully bring a conclusion to the Bogside bonfire, although listening to local media reports you would be forgiven for thinking that established community organisations and mainstream political parties were involved. They were not.

A few years ago in a similar situation in New Lodge in Belfast, the IRSP engaged with young people and encouraged them to no longer organise an anti-internment bonfire in the area.

These initiatives were successful because of positive engagement. Saturating the Galliagh estate in the middle of the night and removing materials is anything but positive engagement. Those who organised this morning’s raid in Galliagh will not be on the ground dealing with the consequences because as we’ve seen countless times over the years, the political parties and their community workers will clock off at 5pm and leave the people of Galliagh to deal with the trouble that they have now guaranteed will happen.
The local community organisation, the Galliagh Community Response say that they will not be on the streets because of the way this was handled and have called on all those who sit in warm rooms making these decisions to be on the ground tonight and subsequent nights.

The GCR met with NIHE recently and told them explicitly that removing bonfire materials in this way is counter productive and will not end with a positive outcome for the people of Galliagh. Tonight, already, we are seeing their warnings come to light.
We appeal to the young people to desist from engaging in any activity which has a negative impact on the residents of Galliagh.

The IRSP do not support bonfires for the obvious reasons being espoused by residents in Galliagh over the past number of weeks. They are unregulated and attract an element of anti social activity. We believe in positive engagement and community empowerment. Last night’s actions by whichever agencies were involved can not and will not bring an end to the bonfire situation in Galliagh.

And we reiterate again, whoever sat and took the decision to send the PSNI and contractors into the Galliagh estate this morning need to be on the ground now engaging and making sure the residents are not negatively affected by their decision.