Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tensions continue to rise over Holylands debate

The debate continued, and indeed heated up, after the cameras stopped rolling on the front lawn of Queen's yesterday evening. Following Wednesday morning's attack on 11 cars in Jerusalem street in the Holylands area of South Belfast, BBC Newsline interviewed Alasdair McDonnell, MP for the local area, Student Union President, John Roger and editor of The Gown, Aine Fox for their reactions.

Backtracking on a press release issued in the immediate aftermath of the incident where he had claimed students were most likely responsible, Dr McDonnell recognised that he had been mistaken - police arrested a resident of the area yesterday morning and released him on bail pending further enquiries. McDonnell maintained however that student behaviour in the area has reached intolerable levels and indicated that it was a likely cause of the attack.

In an off-camera derogatory remark Dr McDonnell claimed there are "100 or so bastards" responsible for regular late-night disurbances in the area. In the ensuing debate Union President John Roger demanded an apology which he said he would receive on behalf of all students living in the area, who he reiterated "we must remember were the victims on Wednesday morning".

Initially reluctant, Dr McDonnell did eventually apologise for the remark stating that he was "just looking for solutions" to this long-running and complex problem. It is thought Dr McDonnell and the Union executive will meet in the near future to discuss just precisely what those solutions may be.

What do you think needs to be done to promote student-resident relations in the Holylands area? Are Union actions including the 'Sssh campaign' really working in light of the latest incident?

18 Comments:

Anonymous teddy bear said...

John Roger spoke well yesterday..............................not.

How about a big group hug to resolve this whole problem. come on guys. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww big hugs...

It's all beter now.

9/27/2007 4:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There needs to be more emphasis put on providing adequate security and monitoring of the Holylands. If the police had more of an active presence vandals would not pose as much of a problem.

9/28/2007 11:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done to John. Glad he stuck up to the big page of wind!!

9/29/2007 11:32 am  
Anonymous Greg said...

Is this what we elected as president?

God help us all.

9/29/2007 1:46 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

Anonymous, you state that adequate security and monitoring of the Holylands is needed and the need for a greater police presence is required.There is only so much that the police can do, it is the people creating these problems who are to blame. It says more about these ADULTS who are behaving like thugs than it does about "inadequate" policing. If anything the parents are to blame not the police! Why not continue what the "amazing" VP Welfare Colin Cockey started last year and hand out lollipops and add a group hug on top of that and the problem is solved!!!

9/30/2007 1:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done John

10/01/2007 11:03 am  
Anonymous Evie said...

In our hour of need John Roger is a tower of strength............not.

P.S: Group hugs + fairtrade coffee @ Clements this afternoon hosted by JR.

10/01/2007 12:10 pm  
Anonymous Gordon said...

John Roger has got 2 be joking on this one.

10/01/2007 2:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly did John do here that so many are complaining about?

10/01/2007 4:15 pm  
Anonymous Claire Bullock Voter said...

John Roger made a fool of himself on BBC Newsline and shamed all students of this University.

He should resign NOW!

10/02/2007 5:27 pm  
Anonymous Keen to Join Elizabeth Windsor University RSF said...

What are Mehawl Harkin's provo friends in the Lower Ormeau doing to stop this anti-social, anti-32 county socialist republic behaviour?

Oh, sorry, I forgot that the sellouts decommissioned their weapons and are now supporting the ocuppying police force and British imperial rule of law.

Shame on you.

Orla

10/03/2007 2:55 am  
Anonymous Ben Preston said...

i bet you all wish i was president again

10/06/2007 9:03 pm  
Anonymous Elizabeth Windsor University RSF said...

Ben,

No we don't

10/08/2007 1:04 pm  
Anonymous I voted RON for Deputy President said...

Is lazy bones sarah mc caffrey organising a political activism week?

Or is she busy scratching her hole?

10/14/2007 3:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last I heard of her was the words to Two Become One bellowing out of her office... wearing a Ginger Spice-esque Union Jack dress as well - so much for being an independent!

10/19/2007 5:41 pm  
Blogger Barry Magee said...

I think Alastair is right. I live in the Holylands and the behaviour of some people is simply intolerable. Last Thursday night for example there were serious disturbances and the police had to be called. 6 Police landrovers, about 2-3 police cars and god knows how many officers were needed to disperse a fighting crowd. As a resident this is simply unacceptable. Some students think that because they are in the majority that they can claim ownership of the area. Some nights people can be clearly heard shouting (not just shouting but roaring their heads off) as late as 4.30am. This just is not right. The majority of students are grand, they want to get home after a night out and get up and go to their classes in the morning, but there is a considerable hardcore of people who when intoxicated (and lets be clear here alcohol misuse is the real problem here) seem to get very aggressive and can not help but vandalise and abuse everything in sight. As a result all students are being labelled as anti-social. As a student I do not appreciate my name being associated with and tarnished by the actions of a few morons. The problem is one of culture (and drink culture particularly) and I do not think increased police patrols will make things any better as the police will just provide an outlet or target for most of these morons to cause further trouble. Comunity Safety Wardens are a failure in this area and most do not seems to want confrontation. Education about sensible drinking habits and social ediquette is vital.

10/21/2007 6:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"who do you think you are!?"

10/22/2007 5:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear hear Barry. Spot on.

10/25/2007 5:35 pm  

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