Protestors campaigned outside Enniskillen Townhall ahead a meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council last week, claiming that the majority of councillors “don’t represent” the people of the area.

When asked by The Impartial Reporter why they were protesting, one of the protestors, a concerned resident of Greencastle, Co. Tyrone who gave his name as Barney, stated: “We are here to show how inconsistent Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is in relation to what they claim to be. They claim to be a forward thinking council and everything else, whereas in real terms they are showing draconian missions here tonight with security inside the door.” “It’s everybody’s right to actually enter a council meeting but these guys now have five security guards that the taxpayers of this area are paying for.

“The local people feel that they don’t have a voice in relation to the councillors other than the independents and we just have to stand up and we have to say, ‘you don’t work for us, you don’t represent us and half of the things you are actually doing is nothing but for the benefit of your own selves and your parties’, and that’s why we’re here,” he added.

Highlighting his frustration at how the Council have been dealing with the motion regarding mineral prospecting licensing around Greencastle, Barney said:

“The motion started four months ago and they kept it in confidential business so when confidential business is there we are not allowed access to the chamber. There was a similar thing in Mid-Ulster Council where there was a similar issue in relation to mining rights, the Council actually brought it out of confidential matters, they brought it to the very start of the Council meeting to facilitate the people who were there to hear, whereas these guys have been kicking it down the road for four months, they don’t finish the Council meetings, they don’t discuss a large area of what they are supposed to be discussing, not just this motion but definitely other motions that are important to the area.”

A number of protestors sat in the council chamber during the meeting. Security guards stood by the entrance to the townhall and two security guards stood outside the council chamber as the meeting took place. One police officer was also present.

This protest follows a protest that took place at the October meeting of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council at the Grange in Omagh, where eight protestors were arrested after they vented their anger and frustration at councillors and council officials over the way it is handling the ongoing mineral licensing.