US arms manufacturer Raytheon in Derry has a small factory on the Buncrana Road employing 60 people. It was made famous recently by Eamon McCann and eight other protesters when they occupied and trashed the buildings. The following is a statement by Sinn F�in Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn has said that following a meeting between Derry City Council and Raytheon yesterday, after official disclosure that the company has been in breach of an agreement with the council:From Gerry MacLochlainn
�Following the recent disclosure in the Belfast Telegraph gained under the Freedom of Information Act that Raytheon were producing the JETTS SYSTEM in their Derry plant I requested that Derry City Council investigate the veracity of this revelation.
�Derry City Council arranged a meeting with Raytheon which took place yesterday (09.10.2006) in which Raytheon confirmed that the Derry plant is involved in producing military applications e.g. the JETTS programme.
�This use of the Derry plant in the production of military applications is in breach of assurances given by Raytheon to Derry City Council. Predicated on those assurances of non military applications Derry City Council welcomed Raytheon.
�However, in light of the revelations that Raytheon has been involved in manufacturing military applications in Derry then Sinn F�in will be calling at the next meeting of Derry city Council for Council to reaffirm and implement its adopted position – that Raytheon confine itself to �civil� development work.
Hmmm… It doesn’t say much for the perceived authority of the council. Also there is a secondary issue of underlying unemployment rates in Derry. Foyle, for instance, has the second highest level of unemployment (8.6%) after West Belfast (11%) in Northern Ireland. The NI average is 4.1%.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty