Questions over veracity of McCreesh document sent to News Letter

Raymond McCreesh
Raymond McCreesh
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There are doubts over the authenticity of a message which has been sent out in the name of an SDLP councillor who has backed the naming of the infamous Raymond McCreesh playpark.

On Thursday the News Letter received a copy of a document which purported to be SDLP councillor Kate Loughran’s response to Newry and Mourne Council’s consultation on the McCreesh play park.

However, the veracity of the document — which was posted anonymously with a brief accompanying statement — is far from clear.

Although Cllr Loughran has categorically confirmed that she supports the McCreesh name for the park, she has equally categorically denied that she made a series of comments in the document.

And her denial was last night backed up by the council, which said in a statement that it had received no response from an individual of her name.

The document quoted Bobby Sands, something Cllr Loughran said she did not do.

After part of the document was read to her, Cllr Loughran said: “I don’t know where that came from because I never put anything into the council.”

Cllr Loughran said that she had not sent any response to the consultation, but had signed a petition in support of the park name being retained. It is not clear if there is a link between whoever organised the petition and the document sent to the News Letter.

In a statement last night, the council said that in response to the consultation it had received 121 completed template responses, 53 letters or emailed comments and 2,948 single-page petitions, as well as a petition with 108 signatories supporting the McCreesh name.

The council said that it date stamped all of the documentation which it received, yet there is no date stamp on the single-page document sent to this newspaper.

The council said it was “not aware of having received any response from Kate Loughran, or attributed any comments to a person of this name”.

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