‘McGlinchey must resign’ says bomb survivor

David Gilmore, at the spot were six people were killed in 1973.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
David Gilmore, at the spot were six people were killed in 1973.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

A survivor of the 1973 Railway Road bomb has called for the man jailed in connection with the atrocity to resign from his seat on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey, a former Mayor of Limavady, was convicted of planting the bomb that killed six pensioners and injured dozens of others back in June 1973. He spent 18 years in prison for the offence.

Last week, the Sinn Fein man said: “I am an ex-IRA man. I’m proud of it,” during an outburst at a meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens held in Cloonavin.

Speaking exclusively to The Coleraine Times, bomb survivor David Gilmore said that he believed the Sinn Fein man ‘exposed himself as an unfit person to hold elected office’ and added that his comments ‘would not be forgotten’.

After Tuesday’s meeting, McGlinchey said he ‘stood by the remarks’.

However, on Thursday he apologised, saying that he realised it was “very insensitive” to have made the comments in Coleraine.

“I apologise for saying the comments in the chamber.

“I realise that was wrong and I want to apologise to the people of Coleraine and to the victims of the bomb. I regret saying what I said in the chamber in Coleraine. That was very insensitive,” said cllr McGlinchey.

The apology however was not accepted by Mr Gilmore and other local families affected by the bomb.

Mr Gilmore said he had been contacted by other survivors and those who lost family members in the bomb, and that they have described councillor McGlinchey’s comments as ‘extremely hurtful’.

“Councillor McGlinchey has now publicly declared that he has no regrets about carrying out this murderous attack on innocent people,” said Mr Gilmore.

“I was one of the fortunate who survived this attack. I have no hesitation in calling for this mass murderer to resign his council seat. I believe he has exposed himself as an unfit person to hold elected office.

“After being made Mayor of Limavady in May 2011 councillor McGlinchey tried to bluff people by talking about extending the hand of friendship to Unionists.

“It is my belief that the comments on Tuesday night only prove that those words were at best being economical with the truth.

“His party often whinge about shared space and respect, but in councillor McGlinchey’s case, my perception is this, it is obviously an approach he does not understand or want.

“The damage he has caused to good relations in the council chamber will become apparent, but the distress, hurt and offence he has caused to the good people of Coleraine - especially to survivors and victims’ families will not be forgotten for a long time,” said Mr Gilmore.

“The so called apology issued only said he was sorry about saying what he did in the Council Chamber. He did not say he was sorry for the callous and cowardly act of murder he perpetrated in 1973. In short there was no apology.”