Ulster Unionist councillors on Causeway Coast and Glens Council have said that remarks by Limavady Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey in which he said he was ‘a proud ex-IRA man’ are ‘shameful’.
Speaking after Tuesday night’s meeting, councillor William McCandless said: “The Ulster Unionist group on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council were disgusted and dismayed by the outburst from Sinn Fein councillor and former Mayor of Limavady Council Sean McGlinchey, who stated in a debate last night that he was ‘a proud ex IRA man.’
“This sort of statement is utterly shameful and completely inexcusable, particularly given that Councillor McGlinchey said it in the council chamber of the town where he murdered six people in bomb explosions in 1973. Is he proud of that?
“It has been 42 years since the IRA explosions in Coleraine but this horrendous incident is still sharp in the memories of the families affected. Physical injuries heal with time but the mental and emotional pain remains.
“Unfortunately this outburst and his reminiscing in the chamber of his terrorist activities do not show any repentance of his IRA involvement.
“We sincerely hope that Councillor McGlinchey will reflect on his outburst and come to the conclusion that this language does not belong in the politics of the present day Northern Ireland.
“It was particularly shameful that Councillor McGlinchey should make his remarks during a debate on refugees. The IRA - of which he is so proud - was responsible for turning literally thousands of people in this country into refugees. Many were made to flee their homes in border areas or from the west bank of Londonderry. Others were forced into exile by the IRA, often to England and still cannot return.
“The Ulster Unionist group will be seeking a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Council to discuss this unacceptable behaviour, which we believe is a breach of the Northern Ireland Local Government code of conduct for councillors.”