News

Poignant pier tribute to young Artigarvan man re-stencilled after removal sparks outrage

Thursday, 4 May 2017

A TRIBUTE to young Artigarvan man, Jack Glenn, who died in the River Foyle has been returned onto one of the piers of the Foyle Bridge after its removal last week sparked outrage.

The 'Camp Jacko' and #gejackback sign was re-stencilled back on the structure a day after the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council apologised to his family for the "insensitive" way in which it was removed.

The sign, which had been in place throughout the seven week search for the 23-year-old's body, was erased in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) suicide prevention practice. The decision - taken by an inter-agency grouping - sparked furious reaction online.

The site had been used as a base by young Jack's friends and family. They only found out about the slogan's removal via social media.

Jack's parents, Hester and Colin, were among the large crowd who packed into the Guildhall on Thursday last for the full monthly meeting of council where the matter was brought up by the Mayor, Alderman McClintock.

Apologising to the family, the DUP Mayor said lessons needed to be learned. She described the way the matter was handled as "horrific".

"I think it's testimony to the number of people who are here in the public gallery today that there has been an issue very much aired on social media and that is the painting over of the writing relating to Camp Jacko and the late Jack Glenn.

"While I appreciate the World Health Organisation's recommendations were followed, I have great concerns about the lack of consultation with the family at what is still a very early stage in their grieving process.

"I think we need to look for a way forward in this and we need to make sure lessons are learned because the family should not have found out about this through social media", she said.

Councillors from all parties distanced themselves from the matter and urged that a review of the matter be conducted and a report brought back before council.

"This has created further grief... because of the way this was carried out and so soon after burial," said the DUP's David Ramsey. He branded the move "disrespectful" and said the Glenn family are owed a "full apology for the hurt" caused.

His comments were echoed throughout the chamber with councillors hitting out at the "insensitive" move.

Following discussion on the matter, Mayor McClintock said a report would be brought at a forthcoming meeting outlining what had happened and to ensure that "it doesn't happen again."

Addressing the Glenn family, she added: "Thank you for your attendance today. We feel your grief and I apologise wholeheartedly from my own point of view that you found out about this on social media.

"It was a horrific way to find out what happened and we offer our sincere sympathies to all of you who are still grieving and we wish you well."

Speaking after the meeting, Jack's parents said they were "disgusted" at the decision to remove the slogan adding that it would be going back up and staying.

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