The DUP ‘s decision to block funding for a Sports Centre in Glenariff is ‘cutting off a great source of funding for all sporting organisations’, according to UUP Councillor Richard Holmes.
In a letter responding to comments made by DUP Alderman John Finlay, Councillor Holmes said : “Local communities are now suffering from attempts by the DUP/SF coalition at Stormont to purge themselves of the stench of their rotting principles. These are principles for which they fought, marched and protested and the coalition partners now flout themselves on local councils as super Prod/Republicans.
In Causeway Coast & Glens Council we have seen attempts by republicans to block Somme commemorations and lately by the DUP to stop funding for a community association in Glenariff – an area where the DUP have no elected representatives unlike the UUP.
By attempting to block a decision to create a £750,000 fund for an annual Sports Scheme, the DUP are cutting off a great source of funding for all sporting organisations from tennis to GAA to football, rugby, hockey and the rest.
All this to present themselves as tough on republicans, tough on the cause of republicans at a local level whilst being bedfellows at Stormont. Let’s not forget that, but for the UUP intervention, the DUP were happy to go along with the SF shrine at the Maze.
And as long as it means hanging onto the levers of power, the odd IRA related death can be overlooked. In the meantime though, as Alderman Finlay (Newsletter Letters to the Editor 2nd June) says: “The DUP will continue to offer real leadership.” We can all be thankful for that!!
Council have the option to provide leisure facilities or work with communities who want to help themselves. Glenariff is one such community. The DUP had no objections when Friends of Glenariff first presented to council in 2015 but have managed to save their objections until the last possible moment to now put the whole scheme in jeopardy.
It is by no means ideal that the GAA ground where the community hall would be sited is named after two IRA terrorists, albeit from 1922. In a democracy there is no excuse for terrorism nor can there ever be for its glorification and exhortation of those killed in the act of terrorism. There is a broader conversation to be had with the GAA over its homage to terrorists but that is for another day.
If we are to ever move on as a society then the DUP’s localised approach to being the butch man of Unionism does nothing to promote British values of tolerance and respect.”