Concerns have been raised over the 2018 Mayoral Christmas card.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community this afternoon Councillor William McCandless said “I have been contacted by numerous people today concerning the Christmas card which the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens has sent to citizens throughout the Borough.
First and foremost I would say that when we send a Christmas card to our friends and relations it is to send greetings of goodwill of love and to let them know that you are sharing the spirit of Christmas with them.
It is a time for reflection, for healing, a time of hope and joy and the message of Gods redeeming love for mankind and the hope of salvation.
Unfortunately, this card should have had a bit more thought put into it before being sent. Basically, it has ( in my opinion ) been a wrongful misuse of power in the privileged position of Mayor. Why do I say that, it has been at the expense of Unionists particularly and has hijacked the Irish language by those who take every opportunity to promote it, but the majority of their party can hardly speak it.
It is sad that prejudice is still rife in our little country, but particularly at Christmas.
All citizens have a moral duty and civic responsibility to ensure dignity and respect and that responsibility applies even more to elected representatives.
Anyway, Christmas is first and foremost a time of forgiveness and Ido wish the Mayor a Merry Christmas and please consider the thoughts and sensitivities of those from a different culture in 2019. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.”
Commenting on the Union First Private Facebook Group, DUP Councillor Sam Cole said
“’Christmas card’ I’ve received that I couldn’t read. New Causeway Council Sinn Fein Mayor Brenda Chivers sent these ’Irish’ cards out to her fellow councillors in a language that practically none can understand.
So much for inclusion as Causeway council is predominantly Unionist. Surely bringing politics into Christmas is a step too far and I know many will take this mayoral gesture as an insult!”
Cllr Darryl Wilson said “As we approach the Christmas holidays, our thoughts often turn towards celebrating the birth of Jesus, this is primarily a time to focus on and to spend time with our friends, family and loved ones.
As the year draws to a close we also begin to contemplate the new year, a year which will offer countless challenges to us all as Brexit draws to a close, we will face another year with no devolved government in Northern Ireland which will have an impact on us all as our health, education, infrastructure and justice departments struggle to deliver an acceptable level of service due to a lack of ministerial input.
Using a minority language on a bilingual Christmas card certainly isn’t the largest issue on the minds of the people of this Borough as we look towards Christmas and the New year… Like me the majority of people are hopeful that those responsible for delivering good governance set aside their peuril and tiresome squabbling and work towards delivering for all the people of Northern Ireland instead of promoting division and disfunction.
We have reached out to council for comment.