Jones – Letter to Irish News regarding Feeney attack on Alliance

15 December 1997

The Editor

Irish News

113 Donegal Street



Dear Sir

I am writing in response to Brian Feeney’s article on 10th December in which he launched an offensive and bitter attack on the Alliance Party. The few factual matters that he tried to include amongst the infantile jibes have been well refuted by my colleague Philip McGarry in his response to the article.

I would however, wish to point out to Irish news readers the fact that, from my position as having had the dubious honour of sitting beside Brian Feeney for 8 years on Belfast City Council, Brian Feeney has always had a hatred of the Alliance Party and indeed of anything that did not fit into his pure green sectarianism.

Brian Feeney used to lecture, in his pompous and self righteous fashion, to his fellow Councillors as to what they were doing wrong, threatening them as if they were his students.

It is not just a coincidence that 1993 was a turning point for Belfast City Council, that relations within the Council have improved considerably and that Belfast Council is now carrying out its function in a much better and constructive way. The fact that Brian Feeney and some of the worst Unionist backwoods men left the Council at the same time was a major factor in improving the atmosphere within the Council.

Brian Feeney was always slightly constrained within Belfast City Council by the fact that he was not popular with many of his colleagues within the SDLP, especially those who wished to be constructive. He is obviously happier now as a part time article writer answerable to absolutely no-one but free to make ludicrous and unsubstantiated attacks on whoever he wishes.

Yours sincerely

Mervyn Jones

Group Leader – Belfast City Council


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