This wee article from the Derry Journal caught my attention. It did so because of the feeling of utter frustration I felt upon reading the first few sentences.
In his Journal piece – Loyalist mob harass Sinn Fein councillors – Cahir McDaid reports:-
“Sinn Fein councillors Anne Brolly and Marion Donaghy were harassed by a loyalist mob outside Limavady Council offices last night.
The trouble erupted minutes after the council failed to reach agreement on a list of contentious items – including the oft-mentioned Charles and Di mug – to be removed from council property with the aim of creating a ‘neutral space’. There was a long and heated debate on the issue.
Colr Brolly said: “There was a particularly nasty mood among the young men who were there. They spat at us and they were very vitriolic and made obscene comments and threats to us. When we got into the car one man threw a Union Jack over it and shouted obscenities at us.”
Now… I’m all for a bit of debate and it’s understandable change isn’t going to be easy but what is the point of having elections and voting for people just so that when a difficult issue comes along we can grab a few bully boys, form up a mob of thugs and try to terrify those of opposing views into silence?
Perhaps the MOST terrifying things is what the row was about! If these louts are prepared to cause a ow about “the oft-mentioned Charles and Di mug” what are they going to do when Limavady council is asked to pop out from the dark ages and make some hard decisions about community relations?
Truly sickening was the behaviour of Limavady Colr Leslie Cubitt who seems to have lead the mob but claims to have seen nothing. It is reported:-
“A group of around 60 protestors turned up for the meeting, where the issue of neutral spaces in council areas was being discussed.
Colr Leslie Cubitt, who at one point wrapped himself in a Union Jack, said he did not see the incident. He said: “I was doing a phone interview at the time and was standing round the corner. I didn’t see anything.”
Colr Donaghy said she thought Colr Cubitt was able to see it.
The police arrived a short time later and dispersed the crowd, at which point Colr Cubitt thanked the protesters for coming.”
Now Leslie… it looks very much like you organised this little bunch of thugs so unless you are registered as blind you must have seen what was happening. As a public figure, with all the responsibilities that entails, and as an ex-chairman of the Limavady District Policing Partnership do you not think you might have shown a wee tad of leadership here and called for some restraint? I mean it’s a 60 strong mob against 2 women? You’re supposed to live this policing lark not just take the chairman’s expenses.
So… frustration was what I felt when I read this piece. Given all the employment problems being faced by the people of Limavady you’d think there is more important things to discuss than the fate of Charles and Di mugs!
At this rate, God better be on our side when we reach the BIG debates.