A COLERAINE SDLP councillor wants to bring FIFTY refugee families to the Causeway Coast and Glens area.
Mother-of-five Stephanie Quigley is behind a crisis group wanting to give Syrian migrants a home here.
The Coleraine Times can reveal that councillor Quigley held an emergency meeting in her home on Friday night which was attended by representatives from local businesses, churches and healthcare providers.
Councillor Quigley told The Times: “I just felt that I couldn’t sit back and watch what was happening to these poor people. This really is a life or death issue.
“I invited 17 people along to the meeting, and 17 people attended. We were all of the same frame of mind - that we must do something, and we must do it quickly.”
The SDLP woman revealed that a second meeting will take place this Friday night to set up a ‘framework’ to enable the Council area to reach out to refugee families.
“We have all seen the desperate images on the media, and as a group we want to act.
“The plan is to have these families housed within the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area within the next month.
“I am certain that we have sown the seeds of a truly interdenominational, cross-community group that will work together diligently for the benefit of those most in need.”
Acknowledging that many people are also struggling locally, councillor McQuigley added: “I am only too aware that many local families are on the breadline and struggle from day to day to make ends meet, but anyone with even the slightest amount of compassion must recognise that this is simply a tragedy that cannot be ignored and everyone needs to put their shoulder to the wheel to help in any way possible.
“The Irish people are renowned for their generosity, and I am sure they will not be found wanting in this instance. “I am asking landlords who may be willing to lend out their properties, families who wish to sponsor refugees, anyone who wants to help to get in touch.”
If you can help, contact councillor Quigley on 07746208084.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein councillors on Causeway Coast and Glens councillors have secured a debate on the ongoing refugee crisis which will be heard in Cloonavin later this week.