Belfast Telegraph

Community groups ‘boycotting Lord Mayor’

By Staff Reporter

There are concerns that loyalist community groups could be boycotting Belfast’s Lord Mayor over his snub of an Army Cadet.

The Belfast Telegraph understands that at a number of organisations have recalled invitations for Sinn Fein’s Niall O Donnghaile to attend events this week.

One City Hall insider said: “Quite clearly the events over the past week have had a negative impact and people are reluctant to be associated with the Lord Mayor.

“I am not in the least bit surprised and I expect that the number of people saying they don’t want him to attend will increase between now and when he finishes his term in June.”

In a statement a spokeswoman for Belfast City Council said: “We can confirm two engagements the Lord Mayor was due to attend this week have been postponed or cancelled but this is not an unusual occurrence. The reasons are a matter for the organisers.”

Mr O Donnghaile sparked controversy by refusing to present a Duke of Edinburgh’s certificate to a 15-year-old Army cadet.

He was forced to apologise for his actions which prompted two loyalist protests outside City Hall.

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