McDonnell must clarify SDLP’s shambolic position on play park – Dickson

Alliance Justice Spokesperson, Stewart Dickson MLA, has said that SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell must clarify the actions of the eight Councillors who failed to attend a meeting of Newry and Mourne Council where it was decided that a play park would continue to be named after a convicted IRA terrorist.

The News Letter reported allegations that it was these SDLP Councillors who requested this meeting to solely discuss the naming of the play park and that the meeting take place with full powers which would have enabled a decision to be taken.

Stewart Dickson MLA said: “After breaking his media silence that lasted nearly two weeks, Alasdair McDonnell could only muster a half-baked apology for the absence of eight of his Councillors, claiming that they did not believe that a decision would be taken at the meeting they missed.

“It has now been alleged that SDLP Councillors requested that this meeting take place to solely discuss the naming of the play park, and that the meeting would take place with full powers for the Council to make a decision on the name. This shambles only appears to be getting more unbelievable.

“Why request a meeting on such an important issue, then fail to even turn up? If the matter was going to be deferred, surely more than one of the nine SDLP Councillors should still have turned up to put forward their party’s views.

“Alasdair McDonnell is having a difficult few weeks, with his party undermining his leadership at every turn. Nonetheless he must come out and once and for all clarify the actions of his Councillors. For the good of his party, and Newry and Mourne Council, he needs to end this debacle now.”


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