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Grenfell Tower fire: NI woman blasts authorities' poor response

By Allan Preston

A woman from Northern Ireland helping those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire says volunteers are frustrated by the authorities' haphazard response.

Ruth Campbell (25) from Ballymena lives in London and helped out at an improvised aid centre last Thursday.

She said an army of volunteers offering their help felt unsupported by the government and Kensington and Chelsea council.

"The anger's still there," she said yesterday. "The protests have continued all weekend. There's one on July 1 - I know I'll definitely be there.

"Theresa May said the survivors had been let down, but that actually annoyed a lot of volunteers who were doing everything they could do to help."

She continued: "The amount of people from all over that came to help - people were sitting in traffic for hours to try and get out to west London. My sister-in-law wouldn't normally be involved in volunteering but for her to drive across London, that was a big thing for her that she felt so passionately about.

"On Thursday when I was there to volunteer, the only reason that we were so busy was because all the local churches and community centres opened up their doors - it was nothing to do with the council.

"I've heard of a woman who owns student accommodation and she's going to give out 21 flats for free. That isn't the council doing that, that's all her own money."

Ms Campbell said she was worried even more people would be displaced, adding: "The people who live in the other towers in that area are going to be removed because of the fire risk, where are they going to go?"

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