Larne Council punch-up displaced democracy

Young Alliance East Antrim representative Pete Milner has slammed the schoolboy behaviour displayed by two Councillors who resorted to violence during a Council debate in Larne. The punch up occurred within full view of other Councillors during discussions over the possibility of closing local hospital.

Pete Milner stated: “I know my party colleague John Mathews did not think that acting as ‘ring-side referee’ was part of the job description of a Mayor. We may be thankful he was there to bring the incident under control and return stability to the chamber.

“Young Alliance believes that such personal prejudices should be left outside the chamber, not least when deliberating on the future of a service which is shared by all members of society. These services are used in times of crisis and should be debated maturely with than in mind. Both men negated their responsibilities to put the people of Larne first.

“I accept of course that, as an act of reconciliation, both Cllrs offered ‘no hard feelings’ at the closure of the Council sitting. But the damage to local democracy had already been inflicted.

“This physical outburst is the personification of the political problem that faces the electorate in Northern Ireland today; while these parties press hard to push the public’s imagination that they are truly representative of moderation and stability, such behaviour parties will leave many people questioning this claim.

“As the punch itself did not even connect, I daresay the Mayor was the only stunning performer of the night.”


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