I note in today’s edition of your paper that a Causeway Coast & Glens Councillor, Padraig McShane, has been found to have breached the Councillors’ Code of Conduct by posing with tricolour and Palestinian flags.
I welcome this ruling as if a unionist councillor did the same with a Union Flag the uproar among republican and nationalist representatives would be huge. I am however forced to ask the question why Cllr Sean McGlinchey was not treated in the same manner when he lost his temper in the same council chamber last year and ranted about his pride in his IRA past including the murder of six pensioners in Coleraine in 1973, about a mile from the council chamber? As someone who survived Cllr McGlinchey’s murderous attack it seems exceedingly strange that posing with foreign flags in the council chamber is considered a breach of the code of conduct but boasting about mass murder in the same chamber is deemed acceptable under the code.
I fully agree with our First Minister that the past must not be rewritten, therefore it is offensive that boasting of murder in a council chamber by a SF Councillor goes unpunished as it legitimises the rewriting of a terrorist past. If this breach had been committed by a Sinn Fein councillor would the outcome have been the same or, is the fact that Councillor McShane is an independent councillor, make it easier to reach the correct conclusion on his actions?
From David Gilmour, Coleraine