In an historic vote last night, Moyle district council became the first Irish council to offically twin with a council in Gaza. Independent councillor Padraig McShane proposed a motion to officially twin both councils, and with an overwhelming majority, the motion was agreed upon.
Speaking after the vote, Padraig said “Moyle Council took a decision tonight that was truly historic. They have committed themselves to become the first Council in Ireland to Twin with Gaza City. It comes as no surprise as the Moyle area is steeped in a charitable tradition. Work has been carried out throughout the world with some Moyle luminaries who engaged in helping those less fortunate in Bosnia, Romania and sub-Saharan Africa to name but a few”
Last October, Padraig left his home town of Ballycastle in a van filled with humanitarian aid for the besieged Gaza strip. He joined the “Viva Palestina” convoy along with 500 people from across the world, and after 3,000 miles, he delivered his aid to various charities across Gaza. During his stay in Gaza, Padraig spent time meeting with various councillors in the Municipality Of Gaza and discussed various means in which both councils could work together.
In the coming weeks and months ahead, a number of proposals will be examined including the building of the “Moyle Peace Park”, in Gaza city. An invitation to visit the district of Moyle will also be sent to the mayor of Gaza city, Rafiq Mekki.
Gaza is a Costal city located on the eastern margin of the Mediterranean Sea, about 32 kilometres north of the Egyptian border. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and is believed to be the fourth city to exist on earth. Its strategic position between three continents made it an obligatory stop for trade – as well as a target for military expeditions. It has a population of some 550,000 people, while two thirds of the population are classed as refugees.
Moyle district council is situated in the northernmost corner of County Antrim. Here lies some of the most breathtaking scenery ever known. From the spectacular nine Glens of Antrim to the Giants Causeway world heritage site and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge; from the rugged coastline of Torr Head and Murlough Bay to the unsurpassed beauty of Rathlin Island; from the quiet charm of sleepy villages such as Bushmills, Ballintoy and Cushendun to the bustle of Ballycastle, a friendly market town – this region of Ireland is famous the world over for its history, its legends and the genuine warmth of its hospitality.
(Gaza TV on Facebook / 29.03.2011)