Sinn Féin’s South Antrim MLA, Declan Kearney has hosted a visit to the constituency by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, for a round of engagements with community-based organisations. He said these meetings underlined the need for an immediate restoration of the power sharing Executive.
Declan Kearney said:
“I was delighted to host Department for Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey in South Antrim where we conducted a series of engagements with a range of community-based organisations in Crumlin and Glenavy; alongside local Sinn Féin councillors Anne Marie Logue and Gary McCleave.
“During our visit to Crumlin’s Irish language and cultural centre, Ionad Teaghlaigh Ghleann Darach, both Minister Hargey and I were briefed on the wide range of cultural, community and youth initiatives by the centre’s management and staff. While at the Ionad we were delighted to also meet the Naomh Séamas CLG senior ladies county champions and coaches, and discuss their double cup winning achievements.
“Later on, representatives from Crumlin Residents Collective Food Bank met with us to explain their work in support of the local community. They highlighted the unprecedented demand with which Crumlin food bank is having to contend due to the impact of the escalating cost of living crisis.
“Later the same evening we had a fantastic visit at Glenavy Youth Club where we met with members and youth leaders to discuss future plans and ambitions. This local club does outstanding work on behalf of the surrounding community, but it’s potential is restricted due to severe limitations on space within its current premises.
“Both Minister Hargey and I were hugely impressed by the community pride, commitment and dedication which was so much in evidence throughout our meetings. All of these organisations and projects are part of the social capital of South Antrim. Each plays an invaluable role within local community life. But that is not sustainable for the long term in the absence of our power sharing Executive and regional Assembly.
“The day following our visits the DUP once again blocked the formation of our power sharing Executive at Stormont. That is an indefensible and despicable position. There is no justification for the DUP continuing to deny democracy, and at the same time denying our local community, cultural and sports sectors the support which they deserve, and rely upon.”