DUP in social media gaffe

The Facebook exchange between Causby and Condell-Lockhart. INLM1812-315con
The Facebook exchange between Causby and Condell-Lockhart. INLM1812-315con

TWO DUP councillors were caught out posting on Facebook during a key council debate last week.

Councillor Darryn Causby posted a message on fellow DUP councillor Carla Lockhart’s wall during a confidential session at Craigavon Council last Monday night.

Mr Causby wrote “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.... Did you ever hear the like of it?” on Mrs Condell-Lockhart’s wall, to which her reply was “Lol” (‘Laugh Out Loud’ for our technophobic readers).

The Facebook messages are timed at 8.47pm and 8.48pm. It’s understood they were sent during the confidential part of last Monday night’s council meeting which lasted until 8.57pm.

Both the DUP councillors have said the comments were nothing to do with the debate.

The story was broken last week by our sister paper the Portadown Times. It provoked some debate, ironically on Facebook.

One Facebook user said: “Can’t believe the immaturity of the two Craigavon councillors who were Facebooking each other during a council meeting. Hope those who voted for them think again next time round. Any wonder the economy is the way it is.”

Another user said: “Just read the full article in the paper - unbelievable - they just don’t get it do they - they say that their comments were not about the council business going on at the time - as if that makes it alright then... but why were they even on Facebook at all during council business?”

Ulster Unionist Colin McCusker said: “For two councillors to be indulging in Facebook messages during confidential business - which look suspiciously like a comment on the debate - shows scant respect to their colleagues.

SDLP Councillor Joe Nelson commented: “They are younger councillors and I suppose this is their way of communicating. But it shouldn’t have happened during a serious issue, and they would need to pay more attention.”

Mrs Condell-Lockhart told the ‘MAIL: “When I heard of this complaint I thought of the advertisement slogan ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’.

“This was a two line exchange about a private matter. It speaks volumes that Mr McCusker, new to politics, and others take an interest in my Facebook page and is following my hard work for the people of Lurgan. He clearly hasn’t much work to do or he wouldn’t have time for such observations but if he keeps a close eye he may pick up a few tips.

“I’m happy to defend my use of Facebook. I use Facebook to communicate with my constituents. I am available on it 24/7 for anyone who needs help. Indeed, on the night in question, I not only responded to several emails and Facebook messages during the meeting but also managed to make more contributions to the meeting than the silent Mr McCusker.”