08 February 2006

DUP blocks Catholic nomination to Community Centre Committee

Sinn Féin

Published: 7 February, 2006

Sinn Féin have accused the DUP in Ballymoney of trying to exclude a nominee to a Community Centre Committee in Rasharkin because they’re Catholic.

Sinn Féin’s Group Leader, Philip McGuigan MLA, said:

“At this week's full Council meeting it was expected that Council would ratify the recommendation of the Rasharkin Community Centre Committee and the Leisure & Amenities Committee to co-opt two new members onto the Community Centre Committee, one Protestant and one Catholic.

“However the DUP’s Roy Wilson then said that he wanted it referred back to a DUP-controlled Committee as he was unsure of the criteria for filling these positions and whether the candidates met these.

“This was quite an amazing comment for him to make given that he himself had nominated one of the proposed members and had not raised this concern when given the opportunity at both the Community Centre Committee and the Leisure & Amenities Committee meetings. I must also raise the question that if he was ‘unsure of the criteria’ then why did he go ahead and propose someone for the role?

“The truth is quite clear. Roy Wilson was satisfied with his proposal to the Committee, but has now stopped the selection process in its tracks because the other nominee is a Catholic woman. Even after the Director explained to Cllr Wilson that the Catholic nominee had met the criteria set out the DUP still voted to refer the matter back to a Committee behind closed doors. This is just another example of the bare-faced sectarianism that Catholic ratepayers have to put up with in this area.”

Rasharkin Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí McKay continued:

“This is not the first time that the DUP has used its majority to deny fair representation of the nationalist/republican community on this Committee. Last year it blocked the largest nationalist party in the area – Sinn Féin – and the 2 Councillors that represent them in the area from sitting on the Community Centre Committee, positions that Sinn Féin were, and are, entitled to.

“Its petty and pathetic behaviour and people in Rasharkin are sick, sore and tired of the DUP’s continuing sectarian misrule in this area.” ENDS

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