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SF accused of bigotry

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A NEWRY and Mourne councillor has accused Sinn Fein of "bigotry and sectarianism", writes Colin O'Neill.
UUP Councillor David Taylor has expressed his anger at the blocking of a proposal for an area of recreational space in the Newry and Mourne District Council area to be designated specifically to honour those who lost their lives in the First World War.
The council received a request from the Royal British Legion and the Fields in Trust organisation under the Centenary Fields Programme that such a space be set aside. Councillor Taylor proposed that this request be accepted by the council.
“The objective of this programme is to encourage every Council in the UK to nominate at least one recreational space in their area as a Centenary Field to commemorate the significant milestone soon approaching in terms of the centenary anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War," said Councillor Taylor.
“I proposed that the Council should proceed as soon as possible with the proposal, however, this was subsequently blocked by Sinn Fein representatives.
“I am extremely angry that the narrow minded bigotry and sectarianism of Sinn Fein representatives has prevented people within the entire district, many of whom who had members of their families serve during World War One, from being provided with a designated portion of ground where they could come and visit and be able to reflect upon the sacrifices paid by brave service personnel during The Great War," he continued.
“The ultimate insult came when Sinn Fein representatives tried to draw equivalence and comparison between those individuals who inflicted a vile and grubby Republican terrorist campaign upon the people of Northern Ireland and the brave service personnel of all religions who served during World War One to deliver many of the freedoms which we as citizens enjoy today. Not for the first time they brought shame and disgrace upon themselves."
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein Councillor, Charlie Casey has pointed out that there are already in the locality, memorials to those who lost their lives in the conflict. The Councillor said: "Sinn Féin believes that everyone has a right to remember their loved ones. We know that many people from the Newry area fought during World War One and as a testament to this there are four cenotaphs located within the Newry & Mourne Council area.
“We feel that those who wish to commemorate the role their loved ones played in WW1 already have focal points and events where they can, and do, take this opportunity.
“The request for Newry and Mourne Council to nominate a Centenary Field came from the Royal British Legion and Fields in Trust, it did not come from local residents and therefore Sinn Féin believe it is not necessary for our area," he added.

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