Monday, 12 May 2008

Henry Reilly la Mourne Observer:

Newry and Mourne Councillor Henry Reilly boycotted the official opening of the new Mourne Esplanade environmental improvement scheme last Friday in protest at the use of Irish language signage in the area.

Cllr Reilly told the Mourne Observer he had informed Mayor Michael Cole of his decision before the event and said he was “disappointed but not surprised” that his advice on keeping the area an English language-only area had been disregarded.

He explained: “I am totally committed to good relations and creating a good environment in Kilkeel, but the way the DUP has behaved with the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ and senior DUP politicians describing Ulster as ‘The North,’ has led Newry and Mourne republicans to believe they can walk all over the Protestant community in Mourne and make them accept their culture and symbols.

“During the Council debate on the issue I suggested that if the Council intended to put Irish symbols in Kilkeel then it should erect a Union Jack in Rostrevor, to which Cllr Mick Murphy quickly asserted: ‘Not a chance’.“This shows that the Irish language plan for Kilkeel is all about republican dominance and marking out territory and in the interest of equality the Council should retract and overturn this discriminatory decision.”

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