THE Chairman of Moyle Council, Councillor Padraig McShane, is currently in Gaza where he is due to officially sign and seal a ‘twinning’ arrangement next week.
The Independent councillor, speaking from the Middle East, told the Ballymoney & Moyle Times today (Friday March 30) he has spent the first few days of an eight day tour of the Gaza Strip learning more about the daily lives of ordinary civilians in the Palestinian enclave.
He is there to meet with several charities and complete the Twinning of Moyle District Council with the Municipality of Gaza.
Chairman McShane said: “I arrived in Gaza on Wednesday and was met by a delegation from the Municipality. At a meeting with the International Director of Relations, Mr. Mohammed Al-Halabi, we discussed our itinerary for the visit.
“A visit to the Prosthetics and Polio centre run by the Municipality along with visits to schools and library in the city was the start of the official tour in the first full day.
“Learning about the desire to create employment through traditional arts and crafts came after a meeting with the Director of Culture for Gaza.”
Councillor McShane said he is set to discuss ideas on how to best support the life chances of some of those living in Gaza with a particular focus on mental health.
He is also expected to visit the Commonwealth graveyard next week. The graveyard contains the remains of some 3,600 allied soldiers who died in the First World War.
The councillor says the Twinning Ceremony is expected to take place early next week.