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Sinn Féin MLA slams DUP comments as offensive

31 August, 2004

Sinn Féin's North Antrim MLA, Philip McGuigan has slammed comments from the DUP regarding a council grant as 'grossly offensive' and 'irresponsible'. Cllr McGuigan was responding to a decision by Ballymena council to delay funding of a £409 grant to Clooney GAC for hurling sticks.

Cllr McGuigan said:

"This particular grant is for a modest amount and there is no legitimate reason why Ballymena Council should delay its payment."

"Once again Ballymena's DUP councillors seem to have lost the run of themselves.Their comments about the GAA are inaccurate, ill informed, and offensive to a large section of the community. We have seen in the past how comments like this have left the door open to assassinations on GAA personnel and attacks on GAA property."

"They are continually making a laughing stock out of themselves and the decent, progressive people of the area. They don't seem bothered by the negative publicity that their comments generate but rather seem intent on holding on for dear life to their tarnished image of discrimination, domination and fanaticism that Ballymena has throughout Ireland.

"This decision is also another example of why any future changes in the formation of local councils, particularly in Unionist dominated areas, must provide proper safeguards against the discrimination of nationalist and republican ratepayers." ENDS

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