Row over contentious Newry play park rumbles on
Sinn Féin Leader on Newry & Mourne District Council, Councillor Michael Ruane, has stated that further interventions by the Equality Commission and DOE Minister Alex Atwood on the naming of Raymond McCreesh Park are more about political games than Council procedures.
Speaking to Newry Times, Ruane stated, “It is important to remember that the park was named after Raymond McCreesh twelve years ago but is now being used as a counter balance to the disgraceful flags protests.
“The residents of Ballybot and Barcroft received overwhelming support in their petition to have the park named after Raymond McCreesh on the 20thanniversary of his death on hunger strike and this was confirmed by a survey conducted by the Council.
“The naming decision was carried by the Council in 2001 without a single objection from any Councillor or party despite all groups being represented at the meeting. No issues with this decision were raised for almost seven years until the Orange Order in Newry made a complaint in 2008,” Ruane insisted.
“The Council then went through a full Equality Impact Assessment on its decision and reaffirmed it democratically in December last year. The minutes of Council meetings at the time of the decision in 2001 clearly show that those who are most vocal on this issue now had no objections at that time.
Ruane added, “The inability of unionism to accept the democratic decision of Belfast Council on its flag policy and the disgraceful and violent protests witnessed since have left Unionist political leaders scrambling for any issue to deflect from their woeful lack of leadership.
“The Equality Commission and Alex Atwood should respect the wishes of the residents and the decision of the Council and not be providing political cover for anti-democratic elements.”
Would you like to advertise your business on Newry Times and reach thousands of people every day? Contact the Newry Times office on 028 4062 6520 or email Paul: firstname.lastname@example.org