Newry MP accuses unionists of ‘creating tension’ over Newry play park

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Friday, March 30th, 2018
Community, News, Politics

Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady has said that the Unionist motion to Council to remove the name of Raymond McCreesh Park, led by Councillor Henry Reilly, is a “deliberate attempt to create community tension through demonising the residents of Ballybot”.

Speaking to Newry Times, the local MP stated, “This park was named after local hunger striker, Raymond McCreesh, in 2001 through the democratically expressed wishes of the residents of Ballybot in Newry. 



“That view was endorsed by Council and received no complaints or objections until 2007 when the local Orange Order made an issue of Raymond’s name. 

“Since then the decision has been through numerous Equality Commission and legal procedures which have found that the Council acted correctly in respecting the democratic wishes of the community.



“The Ballybot community has been demonised for more than 10 years by unionist politicians and commentators for honouring those who took part in the struggle for freedom in Ireland,” he continued.

“The park is bordered by Michael Mallon Park, James Connolly Park and John Martin Street and Gardens, all named after Irish patriots. Other public spaces in Newry have been named after those from a British and Unionist tradition, without objection from local communities.



“This latest attempt, led by Cllr Henry Reilly, to trample over the will of the Ballybot community should be recognised by all councillors as a deliberate attempt to stir community tensions. 

Brady added, “I would appeal to the Council to respect the view of the overwhelming majority of the residents of Ballybot that the park which serves their community should retain the name of Raymond McCreesh.”



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