13 April 2018
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has called on SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood to reassure victims of IRA terrorism that his party will not allow any outcome to the Raymond McCreesh Park dispute which sees the current name continue.
DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office
It follows comments from the SDLP that its Councillors in Newry, Mourne and Down should support a motion to rename the park, but only if it is not disposed of by the Council with ownership then transferring to another body.
Mr Campbell said “SDLP Councillors failed to take the opportunity this week to enact the wish of their Party Conference that this public space should not be named in honour of an IRA terrorist.
Comments from the party following this shameful action have raised as many questions as it answers. There is a need for Colum Eastwood to now provide clarity and certainty as to where his party stands. There has been inference by the SDLP that they will allow the name to remain by ‘outsourcing’ the problem. This could see the park disposed of, through transfer or sale to another group with the name remaining in place.
To resolve this, Colum Eastwood must answer one simple question:
“Will the SDLP support any proposal to dispose of McCreesh Park by Newry, Mourne and Down Council if the facility retains its current name, even under the management of an outside organisation?”
Colum Eastwood needs to tell the public that the SDLP are not prepared to allow glorification of terrorism by proxy.
It is not a “resolution” of this issue to see the park handed over and the glorification of terrorism continue under another body courtesy of the SDLP. The SDLP must be clear that they will not allow that to happen.”