DUP: UUP support for Glens council facility shows poor judgment

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Cllr Richard Holmes’ letter (June 7) regarding a proposed Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council capital grant-funding scheme is a lame attempt at distracting the public from his party’s poor judgement on the matter.

Cllr Holmes criticised DUP councillors by claiming our group was responsible for ‘cutting off a great source of funding for all sporting organisations’ in the Borough. Utter nonsense.

The truth is the DUP voted against an inadequate policy, an unfair process and a particular project that would see public money spent on a park named after terrorists.

The funding policy he and some of his colleagues supported had not been approved by council’s solicitors and omitted key details around public access rights and claw-back provision in the event of any subsequent project failure.

The recommendation endorsed by his party referred to “the competitive allocation of £750,000 of public funds”. The funds in this scheme couldn’t be allocated on a competitive basis as the competition was closed to all groups in the Borough with the exception of one - Friends of Glenariffe.

Our party group was concerned to discover the grounds on which it is proposed the Glenariffe application would be developed are named after IRA terrorists.

Terrorism has been the scourge of society here at various stages of the last century. Public money should never be used to glorify, sanitise or endorse those engaged in terrorist activities.

Cllr Holmes’ comments prompt several questions. Why did some of his party group support an imprecise policy relating to the allocation of £750,000 of public funds? Does the UUP support opening a funding scheme to one sporting body, whilst all others in the Borough are excluded?

Is it UUP policy to support funding for facilities named after terrorists? And why did some within his party vote with the DUP against these proposals?

Cllr Holmes might have reflected on these points before attacking other unionists in a vain attempt at deflecting from poor decision-making by him and his Ulster Unionist colleagues.

And before lecturing the DUP more generally as regards the shrine that didn’t happen at the Maze, he should remember it was his party that endorsed an Agreement which opened the gates of the prison, allowing hundreds of convicted terrorists to walk free without completing their sentences.

Cllr Trevor Clarke, DUP, Coleraine