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MLA Hunter welcomes Council support for Mark Ashton memorial

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SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter has welcomed the support of the council for an SDLP proposal to have a memorial to LGBT+ activist Mark Ashton in Portrush.

She said: “I am pleased that this proposal was agreed at the council and grateful to my SDLP colleague Councillor McKillop for bringing it forward. At the Assembly, Westminster and across local councils, the SDLP are committed to building a more progressive community for all our people.”

SDLP Causeway Coast and Glens group leader, Councillor Margaret Anne McKillop has said once ratified by the full council, the local authority will now consult with Mark Ashton’s family to produce a fitting tribute in Portrush.

Councillor McKillop commented: “I am delighted that the SDLP proposal passed and I am grateful for the support of colleagues in other parties. It is regrettable yet not surprising that the DUP opposed our proposal but I am pleased that it passed regardless of their opposition.”

“Mark Ashton is someone that people right across our council can and should be proud of. He was a pioneer for LGBT+ rights globally. He fought a difficult and often lonely battle to make progressive change and it is absolutely appropriate that our council recognise his life and legacy.”

“I look forward to working with Mark’s family to design a fitting tribute to him in Portrush and local activists who have raised more than £4,000 for this project.

“While some parties seem determined to roll back the progress we have made, we in the SDLP are committed to building a society where love is love and love is equal. I hope this small but significant step forward at council sends a clear message to the LGBT+ citizens across our district; that they are cherished for exactly who they are.”

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Gillian Anderson - Local Democracy Reporter
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