DUP Alderman, John Finlay, has described the arson attack on a bus being used by Dervock Young Defenders Flute Band as an attack on the whole community and has called on Independent councillor Padraig McShane to publicly condemn it.
“The PSNI are currently investigating possible reasons for the attack, and are treating it as a hate crime. It is sad that there are those who seem to be motivated by hate, but I have been greatly encouraged by the practical support being offered to the band, which has lost instruments and flags. I urge the police to ensure that those responsible are apprehended as quickly as possible, and, meanwhile, I call on the community to remain calm.
“I welcome the condemnation of the attack from across the community, but as far as I am aware, there has been no such condemnation from Independent councillor Padraig McShane. Councillor McShane is not normally noted for his silence. Indeed, he actively campaigned for the recent Twelfth of July demonstration to be moved from Ballycastle and then, on the Twelfth itself, he was involved in an allegedly illegal protest and in a confrontation with a band in Ballycastle. That band was believed to be Dervock Young Defenders.
“Speaking at the May meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Council, councillor McShane said: ‘The future’s about trying to understand, and come together and move forward together as a community, and respect each others identities’. To date, his actions have not exactly matched his words, but he now has a chance to redeem himself.
“I call upon councillor McShane to unreservedly condemn the arson attack on the bus and also to advise anyone with information to get in touch with the police right away”.