Speaking at the Mid-ulster Council’s monthly meeting Independent Republican Councillor Dan Kerr said he found the remarks made by Councillor Clement Cuthbertson at a meeting of the environment committee on June 14 to be a “disgrace” and called for an apology and their immediate withdrawal.
“I think it is an absolute disgrace an elected representative in this chamber can compare the community of Coalisland to the Wild West,” said Cllr Kerr.
“I feel these comments are wholly inappropriate, wide of the mark and not a true reflection of the community of Coalisland.
“As a resident, I find them offensive and believe they are a deliberate, calculated way for Councillor Cuthbertson to take an unnecessary dig at Coalisland.
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Cllr Cuthbertson said he stood over his comments and claimed Cllr Kerr should listen to what was actually said.
“If the councillor wants to listen back to the recording of the meeting I said it has been described in the past as the Wild West and I stand over those comments,” he said.
“I would agree with that terminology because we all know what happened the traffic wardens when they were in Coalisland. Freedom of Information requests show the police had to be called to help them leave the town more or less.
“All councillors here agreed with the parking enforcements, it was part of the public realm scheme and there were no issues on the night so there is no issue.”
SDLP Councillor Malachy Quinn reminded the chamber that claims about threats to traffic wardens are allegations and said he was of the view Cllr Cuthbertson’s comments were “disgraceful”.
“The councillor has brought up allegations that parking attendants were threatened. That is allegedly threatened, I don’t actually believe that took place based on what I have heard from people on the ground,” said Cllr Quinn.
Speaking on June 14, Cllr Cuthbertson welcomed DfI’s intention to introduce parking restrictions in Coalisland noting the town’s parking situation had previously been compared to “the Wild West”.