Unionist and Nationalist councillors clashed at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council last week as they debated banning groups with terror links from council property.
Two motions separately brought by the DUP and Ulster Unionists were hotly debated and won with unionist councillors trumping nationalists’ opposition or abstention.
Cllr Glenn Barr, in proposing the Ulster Unionist motion, described being “shocked and appalled” to find that the West Armagh Festival, which used council property, “had named trophies after republican terrorists”.
The motion called for a review of council policies to ensure it would not fund or host any event which seeks to glorify terrorism.
DUP Cllr Freda Donnelly, proposing their motion, asked where was the respect for the victims of IRA and INLA terrorists. “There is no justification for this behaviour especially using young people to promote terrorism.
“This is not tribal politics, this is standing up for those constituents who feel this hurt. Young people involved in sporting events are to be supported but not to receive medals glorifying former terrorists.”
Sinn Fein Cllr Liam Mackle said the motion was “libelous and openly accuses that group in Armagh of glorifying terrorism”. “It could mean anything to anybody,” he said adding that the motion was “devoid of meaning and completely lacking in clarity”.
SDLP Cllr Thomas O’Hanlon described the chamber debate as a ‘slanging match’, however, DUP Cllr Darryn Causby said condemning the glorification of terrorism “doesn’t come anywhere close to slanging”.
SDLP Cllr Joe Nelson said it was sad tribal politics had become the norm.
A Council spokesperson said: “These motions are still subject to a call-in period for five working days after the issue of the Council Meeting Decision Notice. With that in mind, it would be premature to provide details about their implementation at this stage.”