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Mayor calls for families to light a candle for refugees

08 September 2015

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane Council has extended her sincere thanks to all those who attended and supported the Rally of Solidarity at the Guildhall yesterday evening

Mayor McCallion said: “It was extremely heart warming to witness such an excellent turnout  and to get such a positive reaction from the public to calls for people to support the campaign to help those affected by the current refugee crisis.”

Speaking at the rally yesterday the Mayor announced how she has teamed up with Trocaire, a charity known for its outstanding success in directly impacting and changing the lives of over 2.4 million people across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, on this campaign.

“The main focus of this partnership is to encourage the public to help in any way possible in view of the current refugee crisis, be it by donating money or clothes to the charity, or giving up time to organise and help out with collections. Anyone interested in giving their time is asked to directly contact the mayor’s office at [email protected], while those looking to donate money to the cause can find a collection box at the Guildhall.  Those looking to give away clothes should contact their local Trocaire and arrange for collection with them. Again, any contribution at all is greatly appreciated and will go a long way in support of the current tragedy,” she said.

As a mother of three young children, Mayor Elisha McCallion feels personally touched by the refugee situation featured all over the news. ‘It is humbling to be able to offer any help at all in these difficult times,  I have no doubt that the community will come together to provide the necessary help .  All of us have been deeply moved by the scenes we are witnessing across the world as hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing war torn countries in search of safety for their families.”

She added that she hopes to incite in others the importance of taking advantage of our own privileged circumstances to help as much as possible and take responsibility for welcoming those affected by the harrowing events and conditions suffered by so many innocent people. 

I am appealing to families across the Derry and Strabane area to show their support by putting a lit candle on their windowsills this coming Friday from 8 to 9pm and to share this on their various social media channels using hash tag #ucanstayhere as a symbol of their support for the refugees.

“This is a small gesture by the people of Derry and Strabane that we will not sit back and let this humanitarian issue pass us by. We want to help in whatever way we can and we are more than happy to welcome refugees to our city and region,” she said.

She urged the public to come along and support a range of events being organised across the Council area including a Trad for Trocaire event where local musicians are being encouraged to register to take part in a fundraising event – via

The Mayor concluded by extending an open invitation to the local community to support a Rally that is being organised by the local trade unions on Saturday afternoon, departing from the Waterside Railway Station at 2pm.