Dickson disappointed that Newry and Mourne Council didn’t debate play park name

Alliance Justice spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has expressed his disappointment that Newry and Mourne Council did not debate the name of a play park currently named after a convicted IRA terrorist. Councillors held a vote on Monday night to suspend standing orders to allow the debate to take place, but it was voted down with 14 Councillors in favour, 15 against.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “I am very disappointed that Newry and Mourne Council did not debate the name of this play park. It is totally unacceptable that it continues to be named after a convicted terrorist. It glorifies terrorism and should never have been named after this individual. The failure to change its name has caused considerable hurt to victims’ families.

“Sinn Fein have shown that they are unwilling to discuss these divisive issues. This is not the final word and I hope that the new super Council will vote to change the name.

“I do however welcome the decision by the SDLP to vote in favour of this debate taking place, a sign that they have seen their senses and are finally moving in the right direction – or have been leaned on by SDLP headquarters to do so. Their credibility is being damaged as this divisive name issue stumbles on.

“While it may not have been debated at the Council, there is however another debate in the Assembly on Tuesday. I hope that the SDLP will back the motion calling for the play park to be renamed. It is also important that Alasdair McDonnell takes part in this debate and provides some clarity on what has been a shambolic couple of weeks for the SDLP and him personally. Last year he apologised in the Assembly for the actions of his Councillors in 2012 when they voted to retain the name and I believe he should give another apology in the Assembly for the actions of his Councillors last month.”


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