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SDLP turn down huge job creation opportunity in Belfast City Council

5 May, 2010

Sinn Féin Upper Falls Councillor and Belfast City Council Development Committee member, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín has slammed the decision by the SDLP to defer Belfast City Council support for an investment and economic conference in Belfast in June.  

Speaking today Cllr Mac Giolla Mhín said:

“In Belfast City Council meeting on Tuesday night, a decision was made to defer supporting a Belfast Media Group organised investment conference aimed at showcasing Belfast, through its Quarters in New York.

“This conference would be known as "New York - New Belfast" and is a follow on from the successfully organised "city of quarters conference" that took place in Belfast at the end of March.

"This deferral to the beginning of June effectively means that it would become too late to have Belfast City Council endorsement, as the conference is due to take place a few days later in June," explained Caoimhín Mac Giolla Mhín.

"The primary objective of the conference is to attract sustainable investment to Belfast by highlighting its many assets including access to European markets and by also encouraging Irish Americans to visit, thus creating a better understanding of their heritage and Ireland's culture and history.

"I am completely mystified as to why SDLP councillors in the chamber voted to defer supporting such a positive event.

"On the one hand we had the SDLP leader on a live televised debate talk about her plans to create 42,000 jobs and how she was going to stimulate and rejuvenate the economy."

"A half a mile away we had the SDLP team of councillors by their actions, scupper any potential of profiling Belfast development and city regeneration initiatives to a US audience.

"In this severe economic climate and on the back of previous attempts to attract inward investment efforts, this conference has the potential to create jobs across the city and thus further stimulate economic growth.

"Key economic people and potential investors, including people from New York's civic society will have the opportunity to meet and discuss opportunities with key people in Belfast business and community sectors at this two day event.

"The SDLP need to explain publicly their reasons for voting in this way, in

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