‘A small minority’ of people must not be allowed to wreck Maghera

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake pictured in Maghera
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake pictured in Maghera

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Sinn Féin’s Councillor Sean McPeake, has praised the efforts of the community in Maghera following the second in a series of public meetings in the town which centred on recent issues regarding anti-social behaviour and the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

Cllr McPeake, who sits on Mid Ulster Policing and Community Partnership (PCSP), requested both the initial and follow up PCSP meetings in the wake of the murder of a young man Piotr Krowa in the town back in April, alongside a growing spate of incidents of anti-social behaviour. Attending the meeting were representatives from PCSP, PSNI, NIHE, Dept Education Youth Services and Drug Awareness Grouping`s.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mc Peake said: “Maghera is a great town with a thriving community, many of whom withstood the darkest days of the conflict with dignity. For us to allow a small minority of people intent on wrecking their own locality to proceed unchecked would be wrong, and the people of this town proved that they were not going to let that happen through their response to the incidents.

“I spoke during our follow up meeting this evening about the positive work that is being done by statutory agencies and local communities in Maghera. I was however, critical of the fact that unlike many other areas which need assistance and interventions that currently Department Education does not have a dedicated youth worker working on the ground within Maghera Town.

“I have also written to the Department of Education asking that this unacceptable situation is reversed and that resources are immediately found for Maghera town. I do believe that it is important however to recognise the good work that is being done by organisations such as the LINK centre, youth, church and GAA clubs in the town.”

Continuing, he added: “Over the course of the public meeting the PSNI and Housing Executive in particular spoke on their responsibilities and learning from what has been achieved, and reps from the PSNI stated that the investigation into Mr Piotr Krowa’s death is still ongoing - they hope to see resolution to this in the short term, which I believe would greatly reassure local people. As elected reps, we are engaging with all statutory agencies on a regular and constant basis to ensure that the people of Maghera have a safe and peaceful town that can be enjoyed by everyone. It is the responsibility of us all, and by working together this is much easier to achieve.”