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DUP accused of abusing Mayoral position in Coleraine

21 December, 2005

Sinn Féin Coleraine Councillor Billy Leonard has said that it is wrong for
the DUP to use ratepayers money to pursue its policy of exclusion following
the decision by the DUP Mayor of Coleraine Timothy Deans to exclude Sinn
Féin from the Mayor's Christmas reception in Council offices this evening
and paid for by the ratepayers.

Speaking from Belfast where he is seeking a judicial review of the decision
Cllr Leonard said:

"It is totally wrong for the DUP to abuse ratepayers by using rates to
pursue its policy of exclusion.

"This brings not just the DUP into disrepute but also the office of Mayor.

"To abuse ratepayers' money by excluding me, those I represent and those I
in turn would have invited, is stupid and brings shame to the Coleraine
Council door yet again.

"This is a very informal and people centred event. It should be inclusive
and recognise everyone in the Borough yet the Mayor has ignored official
advice to that effect.

"Republicans and nationalists pay their rates, make a major contribution to
life in the Borough yet the Mayor with one decision based on political
ignorance has excluded them. The DUP need to get it into their heads that
old-style exclusion does not work anymore. Republicans and nationalists will
not tolerate it." ENDS

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