Sinn Féin Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Council, has called abusive behaviour directed towards her by other Councillors and members of the public ‘disgraceful’.
Speaking following a sitting of Council tonight at which a motion concerning the Newry park project was properly referred to the relevant committee, Mulgrew said:
“The abusive and aggressive behaviour directed towards me tonight from members of the public and other elected Councillors, as I adhered to Council procedures, is a disgrace.
“Tonight, I was verbally attacked and harassed for performing my legal duties and facilitating agreed Council standing orders.
"As I left the building I had to run the gauntlet to escape harassment from members of the public gallery.
“This behaviour is despicable, and is unprecedented in the modern history of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
“The Councillors behind this motion have known for some time that Council rules, which they agreed to, wouldn’t allow a vote to take place on their motion. Council officials informed them of this fact ahead of meeting.
“Either they are deceiving the public and playing petty party politics with a public project, or they are incompetent.
“Newry is in dire need of a public park. Sinn Féin is unequivocally in support of a public park project.
“As Councillors we are all legally bound to explore all options for a public park project to ensure the citizens of this area get the park they deserve.
“Tonight’s antics from certain public representatives and some of those in the public gallery are a disgrace. Sinn Féin will not allow this vital project to be sacrificed or defamed by cynical political point-scoring and abuse.
“Sinn Féin is wholly committed to delivering a public park for the people of the Newry, Mourne and Down area, and we will not be deterred by tonight’s sorry episode.”