Sion Swifts Ladies Football Club have joined forces with Derry City and Strabane District Council to produce a public health video to encourage the public to hold firm with the restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid 19.
There are concerns that the upcoming holidays, longer evenings and public fatigue with the Stay at Home message could lead to a spike in cases locally in the coming weeks.
Sion Swifts Ladies
The video was co-ordinated by Sion Swifts Public Relations Officer Tony McGinley and featured five players from the club’s thriving underage setup as well as senior club captain Tasmin McCarter.
“The senior team are classified as elite and have begun training for the resumption of the NIFL Season but it has been tough on the underage players at the club who have missed the buzz of training and playing,” said Tony.
“They all understand why we have to make these sacrifices however to protect the public’s health and to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by a surge in cases.
“The roll out of the vaccine across the Council area has offered us a hope of some return to normality later this year and we wanted to make this video to encourage the public to give it one last push to get there.”
The video was made at the request of Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney.
“I would like to sincerely thank the players from Sion Swifts Ladies for their support in making this video which carries a critical message,” he said.
“It has been hard on everyone and I completely understand how people could be tempted to let their guard down and spend time in their families’ homes in the coming weeks.
“As we saw at Christmas, the impact of different households mixing indoors can have a hugely detrimental impact on case numbers which in turn could pressurise our health service and leave the most vulnerable in our community exposed to the harmful effect of the virus.
Keep Up The Hardwork
“That is why we are appealing to people to stick to the restrictions, we are within touching distance of a return to some normality so please keep it going.”
Under the current restrictions laid out by the Northern Ireland Executive, households are not allowed to mix indoors in private homes.
You can can form one bubble with one other household, the two households in the bubble can be of any size however indoor meetings between households in the bubble are limited to a maximum of 10 people, including children, at any one time.
Up to six people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors, or in non-domestic indoor settings for a permitted reason.
From 8 March, up to 10 people from two households can meet outdoors.
You should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
You may not organise, operate or take part in an indoor or outdoor gathering which consists of more than six people.
Mayor Pleased to see Public Shopping Local on Visits to Businesses
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, visited some local businesses across the district this week to speak with business owners and staff about moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Tierney said he was happy to speak directly with the businesses in Strabane and Castlederg about the challenges they have faced and the pathway moving forward, as well as hearing about the stringent measures in place to prioritise customer confidence and safety.
“I was glad to meet with some of the local businesses across our district this week and hear more about the positive steps forward now that many of those businesses have reopened or are preparing for a scheduled reopening in the coming weeks.
“It was fantastic to see lots of people supporting those businesses while I was out and about and to see that all of the businesses have measures in place – such as social distancing, hand sanitizer, and limiting customer numbers at any given time – to instil confidence in all members of the public that they can support local and be assured that everything is in place to protect both themselves and staff,” said Mayor Tierney.
Business Revitalisation and Recovery
“I can fully appreciate how much of a challenge the past year has been for our businesses across a wide range of sectors, and I look forward to the weeks ahead when we hope to see more of those sectors reopening and returning to a more normal operation of business.
“Once again I would just like to encourage everyone to support local across the district as much as you can.”
Local businesses who have been negatively affected by COVID-19 are being invited to take part in Derry City and Strabane District Council’s recovery campaign which will focus on promoting the shop local message and supporting local businesses within the district.
Businesses who have faced challenges over the past year as a result of the pandemic can make contact via Council’s shop local website to express an interest in becoming part of the campaign by 14th May 2021.
The campaign is being organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council with funding through the Department of Communities’ Business Revitalisation and Recovery Programme.
Mural to Mark Farren Unveiled at Brandywell
Derry City and Strabane District Council have unveiled a mural to former Derry City player Mark Farren at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.
The mural, which was painted by local company Peaball Creatives, was unveiled to Mark’s parents Michael and Kathleen, and his aunt Brigid. Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Cllr Brian Tierney was in attendance, alongside Derry City FC Chairman Philip O’Doherty and Manager Ruaidhrí Higgins.
The mural has been placed on the tunnel of the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium in the stand which has also been named after Mark, who played for Derry City from 2003 to 2012 and made 209 appearances for the Candystripes.
A Positive Legacy
Mark tragically passed away in 2016 aged 33 after a brave battle with cancer, and Mayor Brian Tierney said Council were happy to pay tribute to someone who had such a positive legacy in the city.
“I am truly honoured both as Mayor of this city and district and as a lifelong Derry City fan to attend the official unveiling of the mural of Mark which now forms part of the Mark Farren Stand.
“We know that Mark’s story and his legacy will be spoken about for many years to come, and we hope that this mural will be a fitting tribute to the role that he played in the football history of Derry and celebrate the joy that he gave to so many football fans here in the city.
“Mark’s family continue to be in the thoughts and prayers of us all.”
Philip O’Doherty, Derry City FC Chairman, added: “Mark will always be a huge part of the history of Derry City Football Club, and we are happy to join Council in celebrating his life.
“Mark was more than just a player here. He has left a real legacy at the club and it is fitting that his image will greet the players every time they take the field.
“We are delighted that Council have also kept Mark’s memory alive both with the stand named after him, and this fantastic mural.”