Sinn Fein: Ghost Tommy sculptures in Larne ‘show total disregard for nationalists’

The placing of commemorative ‘Ghost Tommy’ figures in a mixed area of Co Antrim shows a “total disregard” for nationalists, a Sinn Fein councillor has claimed.

James McKeown said he has been contacted by a number of residents who are unhappy with the Armistice centenary sculptures appearing in the Cairncastle area near Larne.

Councillor Billy Ashe (right) and Rev Alan McCann with the Ghost Tommies in the shadow of Carrickfergus Castle

Councillor Billy Ashe (right) and Rev Alan McCann with the Ghost Tommies in the shadow of Carrickfergus Castle

The ‘Ghost Tommy’ figures are a UK-wide initiative commemorating the 880,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed, suffered physical injury or experienced mental trauma as a result of World War One.

Earlier this year, Mid and East Antrim Council backed a proposal from DUP councillor Billy Ashe to erect a number of the 6ft-tall figures across the borough.

Mr McKeown has objected to the council showing what he calls a “total disregard” for nationalists in the mixed area.

He said he had received complaints from a number of people who are “very unhappy that there has been no consultation” with the local community.

“Not for the first time the council has shown a total disregard for anything from the Irish perspective,” he told the Irish News.

The Tommy figures are part of the ‘There But Not There’ initiative from a new charity called Remembered.

The charity aims to raise £15 million for various armed forces and mental health charities which help those suffering post-combat, stress-related disorders and other conditions.