‘No change’ in SDLP position on Newry’s Raymond McCreesh Park

Posted by
Monday, December 18th, 2017
Community, Politics

SDLP Councillor Michael Savage has confirmed that there is no change in the SDLP’s position and that the party acted in the interests of the community following a Newry and Mourne District Council Meeting that looked at the issue of the McCreesh Play Park.

Speaking to Newry Times, he said, “At the council meeting our councillors proposed option 3 to go forward to deal with the McCreesh Play Park issue.



“This is a common sense approach to the issue that would have the entire issue of the play park looked at through the play strategy.

“The SDLP did not vote against renaming the park but voted for an option suggested by the independent consultant, council directors and legal advice.

“Naming a public space, and particularly a children’s park, in this way is something which clearly caused hurt to victims and survivors. We must also recognise the hurt experienced by the McCreesh family and the pain that this protracted situation continues to cause them.



“The SDLP isn’t interested in political point scoring on such a sensitive issue and nor should others be,” the local Councillor insisted.

“We do not, in any way, want to add to the burden of those who have suffered. The politicking that has been played around these issues only serves to open the wounds of the past, wounds that we all have a duty to repair. SDLP policy is clear – we do not support the naming of any public space after those involved in the violence of our recent past.



“Our decision to address this issue, therefore, is not related to any individual. It is influenced by a sincere desire to heal our divided society by moving on from the conflicts of the past. Peace and reconciliation is not simply the absence of violence, it is a fundamental shift in mindset and approaches to politics.

“Without a way of sensitively dealing with these issues and dealing with the legacy of the past, they will continue to affect and infect our politics. Our decision was to deal with the issue appropriately without allowing the issue to descend into a political farce with two extremes pulling strips of each other.



“Anyone who wants to question the SDLP’s integrity on standing up against violence only needs to look at our history. As a party who helped broker the peace we won’t take lessons from anyone.

Savage added, “We will continue in our sincere and genuine pursuit of reconciliation between people and communities across these islands.”


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