The absence of Belfast’s Sinn Fein Lord Mayor from another armed forces event — this weekend’s Festival of Remembrance — raises questions about his ability to represent all the city, the DUP has said.
Mairtin O Muilleoir is in America on a trade mission this week, meaning that he will miss Saturday’s event in Belfast.
Last month the DUP also criticised the Lord Mayor after he was absent from the launch of the RAF Wings Appeal because he was also out of the country, that time on holiday.
The DUP leader on Belfast City Council, Lee Reynolds, said: “Yet again, and despite the words, when it comes to actions the Lord Mayor has been found wanting in keeping his commitments.
“This is not a one-off. He appears to be avoiding a series of events associated with the armed forces but yet he managed to turn up at a funeral which involved republican paramilitary trappings.”
A spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said that it was not possible to speak to the Lord Mayor as he is in the US.
The Festival of Remembrance will involve the band of the Royal Irish Regiment and culminates in an interdenominational religious service.
It is not yet clear whether the Lord Mayor will break with decades of republican tradition and attend the main civic remembrance event at the Cenotaph next month.