A decision to vote against renaming a children’s play park after a member of the Provision IRA has been branded a “slap in the face to innocent victims”.
Newry and Armagh MLA William Irwin slammed the process which saw 23 councillors vote in favour of sending the issue out to public consultation.
“What occurred last night in the Newry, Mourne & Down District Council was a slap in the face for innocent victims of IRA terrorism,” said Mr Irwin.
“Both Sinn Fein and the SDLP are very quick to jump on the equality band wagon and shout ‘inequality’ on many issues yet they ignore the direction of the very body they often refer to, The Equality Commission.”
He added: “It is very clear that they only use equality when it suits their own political agendas and the SDLP for fear of being out ‘greened’ by Sinn Fein, have ignored the previous stance of their party hierarchy and have weighed in behind Sinn Fein and voted against changing the name.
“That is a complete abdication of responsibility and it goes against everything that is right and everything that is expected of a public representative.
“Naming a children’s play area after a dead terrorist is surely one of the most absurd actions ever taken by a local council and it is way past time that this matter was resolved.
“Consulting on the issue for a potential disposal of the park is not a resolution it is a fudge and it is offensive to the victims of IRA terrorism.”