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Chamber president urges action instead of negativity in wake of incidents

Thursday, 2 November 2017

THE president of the Strabane Chamber of Commerce has thrown down a challenge to critics on social media who complain about the problems in town to use it as a tool to do good instead.

Martin Gallen was speaking yesterday (Tuesday) in the aftermath of a torrid weekend of anti-social behaviour. He said as well as being concerned about what was happenng, people shouldn't lose sight of the progress made in Strabane too.

"I know the events of the last week make the town look bad but this activity is nothing new," he said. "Anti-social behaviour has always been an issue in the town, as it is in every other town. The dawn of social media just serves to highlight these issues and bring them to the attention of a greater audience.

"There are too many people jumping on a negative bandwagon saying ridiculous things like 'this didn't happen ten years ago' but these people have very short memories indeed.

"For anyone willing to open their minds and cast aside ther blind reminiscence of the 'old' days, this is not a true reflection of our fantastic town. We have an unrivalled community spirit detailed beautifully by the reaction to the attack on Pat Gillespie.

"Our town is growing and becoming very healthy, we have a lot of new businesses starting up in town and the number of empty buildings is dwindling rapidly. We have a lot to be thankful for here but, as always, the negative voices are the loudest."

Mr Gallen added "This town belongs to all of us and as such we owe it the care it deserves. People need to start being more vigilant and tackle the issue of anti-social behaviour.

 "The amount of posts I have read in the last few days talking about how people had seen groups of youngsters in a certain area just before damage had occurred is infuriating.

 "People can easily post trivial things on social media such as pictures of their dinner or their cat in a cute outfit, well why not use it as a tool to protect the town. Working together has massive benefits.

"I will agree that the parents have a huge part to play in this matter too. Having said that, it would be nice for a change if, instead of everyone jumping on a post regarding negative issues, maybe try to support some of the many positive things that are happening in town as there is no shortage of this and there are an awful lot of people working hard to make this town a better place to live in."

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