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Mayoral invitation for threatened clergyman

A former Presbyterian minister who was forced out of Limavady under loyalist death threat has been invited as a guest of honour at the town’s Mayoral Ball.

Rev David Armstrong was forced to flee with his wife and children in 1983 for exchanging Christmas greetings with Catholic priest Fr Kevin Mullan. Now both men have been invited to the ball by current outgoing mayor, Sinn Fein councillor Cathal Ó hOisín.

The mayor’s ball will be held in the Roe Valley Radisson Hotel on May 1.

The invitation comes just 17 months after a motion to award both clergymen the freedom on the Limavady Borough was blocked by six unionist councillors. However Rev Armstrong — now a church of Ireland Minister in Cork — made an emotional return to the Co Derry town last week.

Rev Armstrong, now a minister in Cork, said he would be speaking with Fr Kevin, whom he referred to as a “Christian gentleman and a dependable friend to my family”.

Mayor Cathal Ó hOisín said he made the decision to invite both men as his guests of honour after hearing Rev Armstrong's recent comments.

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