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Derry and Strabane Councillor abstains from Prince Philip minute's silence

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Councillor: Paul Gallagher

Councillor: Paul Gallagher

Councillor: Paul Gallagher

An Independent member of Derry and Strabane council abstained from a minute's silence in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Councillor Paul Gallagher abstained from joining fellow councillors and guests of the planning committee as they observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of Prince Philip, who died on Friday aged 99.

DUP Alderman Hilary McClintock requested the minute’s silence through chairperson’s business, saying: “Today there is a family grieving the loss of a loved one and there is a nation grieving.

“While I know not all in this Chamber may understand and share my sentiments, I ask that today in a show of solidarity that we mark the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh by holding a minute’s silence.”

Mr Gallagher indicated to the chair, Councillor Christopher Jackson, that he planned to abstain.

He said whilst he understands “the personal loss the family is going through at this time, I think when Hilary talks about a nation in mourning, the Irish nation has seen the loss of many, many lives in this country” due, he said, to the establishment the royals “stand for”.

Mr Jackson reminded the virtual Chamber that the Mayor has opened a book of condolence for those wishing to pay their respects before getting the minute’s silence under way.

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