Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor William McCandless said “I was disappointed to read the comments from Cllr. P. McShane in relation to his objection to C.C.&G. Council signing the Armed Forces covenant agreement.
Our Veterans deserve to be cared for and I felt that in 2016 great sensitivity and respect was demonstrated by our whole community for the commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
This year in June 2017 the commemoration of the Battle of Messiness will take place when the 36th Ulster and the 16th Irish fought side by side in Belgium. Over 200,000 Irishmen served in the British Army in the Great War Unionist and Nationalist.
Throughout the length and breadth of N. Ireland we have War memorials which honour and pay tribute to our service personnel.
Local people from this Borough served in key roles in the defeat of the scourge of Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 2nd W.W.
Throughout history Irishmen have played their part in standing up against tyranny and oppression, one third of Wellingtons army at Waterloo were Irish including Wellington himself.
Other great military leaders from N. Ireland were Field Marshall Montgomery and Colonel Tim Collins OBE.
Our troops have been to the fore in Korea, the Falklands, the Gulf Wars, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
We also must remember the men and women who served locally in the UDR and Royal Irish. They stood firm against the onslaught of the IRA and we hold them in honour and pride.
These people were our grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers and sons. They were also our mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters.
These are our families whose service we will remember with pride.
Councillor McShane is entitled to his opinion but he will never prevent the people of this Borough paying tribute to the brave men and women who put on a uniform and took a stand for freedom.
I am proud to be the Armed Forces Council representative and will do all I can to assist our service personnel.”