Statement on the issues concerning Pennyburn

IRSP spokesperson Martin Collins commenting on recent developments in Pannyburn said, “The Irish Republican Socialist Party have been involved in ongoing work in the Pennyburn area aimed at reducing community tension as a result of large numbers of young people who converge on the area at weekends and during school holidays. For a number of weeks activists from the IRSP have positively engaged with the young people and enforced upon them the need for residents to be able to go about their daily business without fear or intimidation. We have been largely successful in this work and the numbers of young people converging on the area have been reduced as a result.”

He went on, “Recently, we believe as a result of the IRSP actions, other bodies have become embarrassed into getting involved in the situation. Prior to the IRSP getting involved it seemed that local residents had tried to avail of all services and had contacted all the local councillors but nothing was done about the terrible situation in which they found themselves.
A public meeting was called for Wednesday night past arranged by the SDLP. A letter was sent around the doors of the Pennyburn area from the SDLP advertising the meeting but there was no mention whatsoever of the involvement of the PSNI.

“The IRSP attended the meeting unaware of the involvement of the British police and were unfortunately forced to walk out of the meeting when the SDLP introduced the PSNI to the meeting. We believe that the PSNI were drafted into the meeting by stealth. We also believe that only community participation can solve problems within the community and we call upon the residents of Pennyburn to support our ongoing efforts at solving the issues of young people converging upon the Pennyburn area from other areas of the city.

Martin Collins concluded by saying, “Over the weekend our activists have again spoken to the young people, we prevented some of them accessing alcohol when we observed older people attempting to buy alcohol for children as young as 13 or 14 years old. We again encountered up to 100 youths drinking around the area, when the IRSP checked it out there were no more then 10 people in the group who were actually from Pennyburn. The IRSP have spoken to residents of Pennyburn who are entirely happy to see us on the streets at weekends and we have received many calls and emails supporting our presence. Our allegiance lies with the working class and as such we will continue to work for the community, further we will not be deflected from this work by political parties who continue to bring the PSNI into working class areas by stealth in a futile effort at forcing the British police onto the people of Derry.”