SIR - I am now reached the stage from at first having a degree of sympathy with Mr McAfee to now rather concerned at the amount of attention being paid to this situation.
I think Mr McAfee’s importance is a bit like some Premier League soccer stars in that he is being a bit over-rated. If for example we look at the results of the Local Council election in May 2011 - the DUP had 45.3% of the total vote; Sinn Fein had 20.5%; the UUP had 13.7% the SDLP polled 9.9% the TUV had 7.6% and Mr. McAfee polled 3% of the total vote.
So 97% of those who voted did not in fact vote for Mr McAfee, which puts his small vote into perspective. Or looking at another numerical way the DUP polled a total of 5,182 first preference votes; while the UUP polled a total of 1,563 votes. The TUV polled 870 votes; compared to this Mr McAfee polled 347 votes compared to the other Unionists Mr. McAfee still polled rather poorly according to the voting statistics published on the BBC website.
Furthermore, if we take Ballymoney Town election results on their own, the first councillor elected was Cllr. Mervyn Storey; the second person to be elected was Cllr. Ian Stevenson; the third person elected was Cllr. Cecil Cousley; the fourth person to be elected was Cllr. Tom McKeown all these having reached the quota were deemed elected - Mr McAfee became the fifth person too be elected although he was considerably short of the quota .
Given the amount of coverage that has been devoted to this issue in the local press and the amount of rhetoric from Mr. McAfee himself surely this has got out of all proportion - all this public debate about someone who only got 3% of the total vote and who may have actually caused a situation in which a bye election will incur to ratepayers of Ballymoney bye-election costs of up to £30,000 all a result of an alleged mistake by Mr. McAfee??
Concerned ratepayer (name and address supplied)