21 February 2018
DUP South Down Assemblyman Jim Wells has said that he is ‘appalled’ that the recently elected Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard has erected a new sign above his Castlewellan Office naming it the ‘McNulty - Magorrian Advice Centre’. This office was recently opened by Sinn Fein leader, Mary Lou McDonald.
Mr Wells said, "Both McNulty and Magorrian were IRA terrorists in the 1970s. Peter McNulty was killed by his own bomb as he tried to blow up Castlewellan RUC Station in 1972 and Paul Magorrian was shot by the security forces whilst he was on 'active service' in 1974.
Sinn Fein speak of 'reaching out' to their Unionist neighbours whilst erecting a sign which will cause enormous offense to the families of the 70 innocent victims of terrorism in South Down.
What makes this development even more appalling is that when he was elected as the MP for South Down, Hazzard promised that he would work for all the people of the constituency. How could anyone who is not a Republican feel comfortable going into a constituency office so obviously dedicated to two IRA terrorists?
I have made separate complaints to the Commissioner for Standards at both Westminster and Stormont.
The Northern Ireland Assembly rules are quite clear. MLAs can claim the rent and rates for an office if it has a sign bearing only the name of the Assembly Member, the Stormont logo and that of his party.
If any part of the Castlewellan Sinn Fein office was funded by the Assembly now or in the past I will be asking for all of this money to be returned to the taxpayer.
I have also asked Kathryn Stone, the Commissioner for Standards at Westminster to investigate this issue as it may contravene the rules that apply to MPs.
This latest incident follows the recent confirmation of the name of McCreesh Park, the celebration of the Maze escape in Atticall and the commemoration of the anniversary of the death of McNulty by Sinn Fein leader, Mary Lou McDonald.
As a predicted last month, Sinn Fein seem to be spending a lot of time thinking up new ways of offending the law abiding community of South Down."