By Anton McCabe, reporting on behalf of VIEWdigital. Images: North West Newspix
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Brian Tierney, launched the latest issue of VIEW magazine in Strabane yesterday (August 25).
Councillor Tierney, is pictured above, second left, with SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan, far left, and Anne O’Neill, chairperson of The Kathleen Graham Trust; VIEW editor Brian Pelan, and VIEWdigital deputy editor Kathryn Johnston.
The latest issue of VIEW issue pays tribute to the work of front-line workers and volunteers in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Mayor said he was delighted to launch the edition at the Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane.
“I think it’s a very important edition, pointing out the work of the community and voluntary sector through the pandemic,” he said.
“I’m very pleased to see my friend and colleague, Belfast Deputy Lord Mayor Paul McCusker, as guest editor. I’m really looking forward to reading it.”
The Kathleen Graham Trust supported the issue. Trust Chair Anne O’Neill said they were delighted VIEW had chosen Strabane. “As a community we have experienced more than our share of hardship.”
That was not all, she added: “There has been a spirit of sharing in the people of this area. It takes people like the community activists present today to spur people into action.” In the pandemic, local volunteers from The Kathleen Graham Trust organised services such as food distribution to those at risk; a befriending service; and making and distributing of personal protective equipment.
Ms O’Neill explained the Trust stems from the generosity of lottery winners Frances and Peter Connolly. Frances, who is from Strabane, set up the Trust, which is named after her mother.
‘VIEW HAS ITS FINGER ON THE PULSE OF DAILY HUMAN EXPERIENCE’
Ms Johnston said the words of the American poet Maya Angelou rang true: “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”
“In times of crisis, there’s no better force than community,” he added.