An impassioned plea for the people of North Antrim to distance themselves from sectarianism and hatred has been issued by the local Alliance Party representative.
Councillor Jayne Dunlop – who was speaking after yesterday’s triple funeral of the Quinn brothers in Ballymoney – said now was the time for the people of North Antrim to eradicate “sectarian attitudes”.
She said that by working together and moving forward, the people of North Antrim and Ballymoney would help pay tribute to the lives of three young brothers.
And the Alliance Councillor has also urged Orangemen from North Antrim to call for end to the stand-off at Drumcree.
“I watched the mourners on Tuesday at the funerals of the young Quinn brothers and it was clear for all to see that Ballymoney was eerily quiet as the mourners passed by. The only noise being that of footsteps and the tolling of the Chapel bell,” said Ms. Dunlop.
“It was a heartbreaking sight to see the hearse pass by with three white coffins inside. I felt it was such a pathetic waste of young life and that this needless loss of life spoke volumes about the kind of society in which we live,” she said.
“That’s why I feel that it’s about the time the protest at Drumcree ended. A number of people feel that the deaths are not the responsibility of the Orange Order. But surely it is the stand-off that created the unsettled atmosphere in which the firebombing of the Quinn home took place.
“The only people who are truly to blame are those who carried out the attack, but in a sense we are all to blame if we continue to harbour sectarian attitudes and I would urge the people of North Antrim to distance themselves from such attitudes.
“I know that this will not be easy but those who are involved in the disputes need to try. We must hope that no other family suffers like the Quinn family,” added the Ballymena Councillor.